Horror / Sci-Fi / Action / Animation

Resident Evil: Degeneration

Distributed By: CAPCOM and Sony Pictures Entertainment

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            When I first heard of the creation of a fully computer animated film for the Resident Evil franchise, I couldn’t wait to check it out.  I realized that the film would have nothing to do with the live action movies and would be solely based on events in the video games and that only inspired me to want to see it more.  So, as soon as I could, I got my hands on a copy.

            Set in the year 2005, Resident Evil: Degeneration takes place some time after the Resident Evil 4 video game.  Claire Redfield (Alyson Court), a survivor of Raccoon City, is now a member of TerraSave, a non-governmental agency which handles search and rescue missions at the sites of biological and/or chemical attacks.  She arrives at Harvardville Airport to meet with the Chawlas, a family her group has been aiding, and runs into the corrupt Senator Ron Davis (Michael Sorich).  The senator is surrounded by activists protesting his hand in allowing WilPharma, a company conducting research on the T-virus, to build a huge research facility in his community. 

            As the protestors surround the senator, wearing zombie make-up and carrying signs, it appears that at least one of the protestors may actually be infected with the T-virus.  Pandemonium ensues, heightened when a plane filled with infected people crashes into the terminal.  Claire, Rani Chawla (Michelle Ruff), Senator Davis and an airline employee hide themselves in the VIP lounge and call for help.  Help comes in the form of the local Special Response Team and the United States Marine Corps Leon S. Kennedy (Paul Mercier), a former cop and survivor of the Raccoon City disaster, is now a special agent for the United States government.  He finds himself in charge of this mission at the Harvardville Airport and decides to conduct the rescue mission with only two Response Team Officers, Angela Miller (Laura Bailey) and Greg Glenn (Steven Blum).

            The rescue mission is successful, but there are many airport patrons and employees alike who have become infected and must be contained.  When Claire sees a convoy of WilPharma trucks arrive on the scene, she is immediately suspicious.  TerraSave has been campaigning against WilPharma, believing that they are an offshoot of the Umbrella Corporation whose experimentation with the T-virus caused the disaster in Raccoon City.  WilPharma Chief Researcher Frederic Downing (Crispin Freeman) explains that WilPharma has actually come up with a vaccine.  Unfortunately, Curtis Miller (Roger Craig Smith), Angela’s brother and a civilian who became a terrorist after the death of his family in Raccoon City, chooses the moment the vaccine is about to be distributed to attack WilPharma, destroying the convoy and the vaccine contained within.

            Claire Redfield and Frederic Downing head to WilPharma’s research center to obtain more vaccine while Leon Kennedy and Angela Miller search for Curtis Miller.  Their paths converge at the WilPharma research center, Curtis’ next target.  What is revealed by this latest attack at WilPharma will knock the Resident Evil world on its ear.

            I knew that a fully CG animated film based on the Resident Evil video game franchise would be enjoyable.  After all, I’ve always enjoyed the bits of movie segments interspersed throughout the games.  Sometimes these segments are what made the game that much more interesting.  The CG characters in Resident Evil: Degeneration were so well done and the story so involved that you sometimes forget you aren’t watching live actors.  The action is impressive and fast-paced, which comes as no surprise, given what you get when you play the video game.  The storyline is creditable, although I wonder whether the games that follow the movie will add this to their continuity or just skip over it entirely.

            The DVD version of Resident Evil: Degeneration contains a couple of sneak peaks at Resident Evil 5, a featurette about the film entitled The Generation of Degeneration, trailers, character profiles and more.  A section entitled Voice Bloopers contains some scenes from the film humorously redone with different lines.  These “outtakes” would be funnier if some of the dubbed lines weren’t spoken when the characters’ mouths weren’t moving.  I found the Faux Leon Interview segment to be rather boring and unnecessary.

            All-in-all, I really enjoyed Resident Evil: Degeneration.  As I watched, I was so engrossed in the storyline and so invested in each of the characters that I completely forgot I wasn’t viewing a live action film.  I hear a rumor that a sequel is in the works for this film.  I can hardly wait!  Resident Evil: Degeneration is an excellent addition to the Resident Evil franchise.


For more Resident Evil, check out these articles:

Resident Evil

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Resident Evil: Extinction

Resident Evil: Afterlife

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

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