Another Take on Resident Evil: Degeneration

14 01 2009

Afternoon, ladies and gents! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of talking to Stephen, procurer of some of my films for review and all-around good guy. He seemed to have a slightly different take on the film than I did. When I told him to write it in song, he politely refused, I politely smacked him, he politely kicked me in the spine, and now we’re politely not friends. But before our epic falling out, he wrote an alternate review/perspective of the movie. If any of you have reader submissions you would like me to look over, leave me a comment in any comment box, and I will reply with a sense of urgency! Thanks, Stephen! Your diligence is appreciated!

Note for the Video Game Impaired (VGI): In Japan, Resident Evil is called Biohazard. I don’t know why, but I guess that wouldn’t fly for an American audience. Whatever.

Biohazard/Resident Evil: Degeneration

I’ve been a fan of the Biohazard series for quite sometime. I love the game play, the music, the atmosphere, and the vile and insidious plot that drives the series. Naturally I was anticipating the next chapter to one of my favorite series. Just released on DVD & Blu-Ray is the latest installment in the RE saga ‘Resident Evil: Degeneration’. With RE 5 just around the corner, what better time than now to whet the appetite of fans. Unfortunately as it turns out, is just that — a marketing device to get people excited about the next installment.

After being disappointed and dismayed I had to ask myself ‘why’? To the films (or rather extend Cut-Scene) credit, it made for a good excuse to reunite Leon S. ‘I’m a badass’ Kennedy & Claire Redfield from RE 2/Code Veronica fame respectively. But compared to previous iterations, it’s a total disappointment in the story department. It’s just not a very compelling story and it relies too much on clichéd plot devices. I.e. Your charming, stereotypical, surreptitious evil Englishman?

There are however some connections that will carry over to RE 5, such as the um…new evil pharmaceutical company called *Timpani Hits* ‘Wilpharma’. Doesn’t sound too evil does it? But I do suppose at the very least, will make the RE 5 experience a little richer. And Capcom…what is the deal with these mysterious long haired fruitcakes? Not all men with long hair have to be evil/corrupt/mentally ill/depressed/mysterious and socially awkward. Even though I pretty much just described myself, but come on! Eric, back me up here buddy!

Now aesthetically speaking, the film does look good. Especially on HDTVs. Particularly during the day time shots, very vibrant color palate for such a grim series. The lighting and character models were pretty decent. And I was really impressed with the fire and explosions, which is very difficult to recreate in CGI. Overall I was pretty disappointed, it was the perfect opportunity to really expound on the story and make something more memorable and compelling.

But in the end it is what it is, if you’re a fan of the games and movies pick it up. I don’t regret buying it, despite you may only watch it a time or two. Now if you’re not a fan and were just at least curious, buyer beware. At the very least though, give it a rent.

Lastly the extras are pretty forgettable too. There is your typical making of bonus feature but since its all in Japanese, it’s pretty useless.
Unless of course you’re just visually stimulated. Oh and I didn’t bother to check to see if there were any English captions. Sorry. Now be sure to read Eric’s more objective review if you already haven’t for more in depth insight on Resident Evil: Degeneration!

Now In conclusion I would like to digress on the RE story in a nutshell. It’s like a run on sentence, much like this one, I just can’t quite figure out if I should end it, or if I should just keep on going, I just don’t know, what ever shall I do. How long can Capcom keep this up? How long can they sustain the quality of the ever convoluted story? Umbrella, the pharmaceutical company responsible for the vile (hehe) virus’s that caused death and destruction around the world is no more.

In what to me seems rather anti-climatic to state the dissolution at the opening of RE4 (It was as if thousands of fans collectively cried out “WTF?”). What’s this Las Plagas bull shit (Don’t get me wrong, RE 4 is a great game)? After technically 5 major installments (0 through Code Veronica), I think every fan by this point was ready to take the fight directly to Umbrella and kick some ass! I sure as hell was… especially after the epic that was Code Veronica (Which would have made more sense to label as the true 3rd installment and Nemesis as just well, RE: Nemesis…but I digress).

RE 0 was the Overture, RE 2 was the main piece, Code Veronica was the Crescendo, and RE 4 would have…should have been the Coda. Hell before the credits roll there is a cut scene of Chris and Claire blasting out of a uncharted arctic Umbrella base in a jet explicitly stating they’re taking the fight to Umbrella. Alright!

Can’t wait for the 4th and presumably finally installment to my beloved series! However Capcom had other plans…

Ok in my opinion it goes like this; Biohazard/Resident Evil: 0 was cool, had some cool game play mechanics (which inspired the forthcoming RE: 5 game play). But was really unnecessary from a story perspective (granted it does make the overall story a little richer in texture). RE was the introduction to something dark and sinister. Albeit campy and sometimes unintentionally funny (much like Degeneration).

It was the birth of a conspiracy that would span a plethora of games, spin-offs, and eventually films.  While at the same time, you wanted to just survive, make it out of the mansion alive, you wanted to find out what the hell is going on and who is behind this. The subsequent releases that would soon follow 2, 3: Nemesis & Code Veronica really expounded on the concept with all hell braking loose. It took survival horror to new levels. While 4 was extremely satisfying from a game play perspective its story was abysmal. You’re a special agent and you must rescue the president’s daughter! Wow I’ve never seen that before! Of course there is more to it and there are of course connections to the pervious installments but I really can’t remember them.

Now with part 5 is almost upon us, what mysteries and dark conspiracy await us in the deserts of Africa! We must await and see…

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