4 years after Degeneration, Capcom followed it up with Damnation (i would wager they didn’t plan the titles beforehand, at all), made mostly to promote Resident Evil 6, released in Japan roughly 3 weeks before, as it acts as a prequel to that game’s storyline.
So yeah, it’s not really a sequel to Degeneration as there are no returning characters from that movie aside from Leon S. Kennedy and Hunnigan, and the events from that film don’t really ever get brought up or serve any purpose to the story of Damnation.
They just don’t.
Which i understand from a functional standpoint, you don’t wanna have people lost if they didn’t watch Degeneration, that movies was released 4 years prior and these CG movies didn’t exactly make people and fans drool over them en masse. But you could have tried to make some fuckin connections happen and try to build an overarching plot of sorts, if nothing else to artificially make the various plots seem more important and better due to the interconnection.
In hindsight it’s not a problem, so let’s talk about the plot of Resident Evil Damnation.
This time it’s about the use of BOWs in European war zone, with the Eastern Slav Republic fighting a resistance separatist movement using terrorist tactics, and despite the order for US troops to retire from the war zone, Leon S. Kennedy remains there to investigate despite being told not to, gets captured by the rebels, learn more about them, the local goverment plans, and becomes motivated to learn what’s actually happening there, even some since there are Plagas parasites involved, and Ada Wong shows up, once again with her own agenda…
Know what, i was quite pleasantly surprised by Damnation, for many reasons.
First, it drops that po-faced and excessively serious tone Degeneration had, and actually manages to strike that right balance that feels like Resident Evil, going to political interests and conspiracies to having monsters burst out of people and some stupid but welcome levity, here also provided by a more likeable Leon Kennedy, not quite it’s RE 4 self but managing a far better and funnier persona, still a battle hardened expert that knows his stuff but also able to have a sense of humour, instead of the frigid, boring twink he became in Degeneration and some of the later RE mainline games.
Plus, the plot it’s interesting enough, nothing special but the setting makes for some apt Resident Evil scenarios, there are some twists on the monsters and Plaga parasites, which i won’t spoil but i will say they definitely make for something different, and quite entertaining to boot, while pleasing long time RE fans by busting out some classic creatures and fan favourite character Ada Wong.
This not at the expense of the new plot and characters, which end up likeable and more interesting than usual, definitely not annoying or that throwaway for… throwaway characters you won’t see crossing over into the main series ever. Even the main villain it’s not what you might expect, and the script has enough balls to actually avoid the usual “jingoistic by clichè more than design” ending where the USA intervene and everyone it’s happy a far more powerful military crushed the goverment to install an “approved by ‘Murica” one. It doesn’t do that, surprisingly.
Plenty of action, good direction, likeable characters, very entertaining, good presentation and the 3D CG it’s good as before, arguably a itzy bitsy better, so if you’re not turned off by that and want a fun Resident Evil movie, this is actually worth a watch, and entertaining even for the non-fans.
Maybe it’s the bar being set low, but it’s definitely way better than expected for something made to accompany and promote Resident Evil 6, of which it plays a collection of cutscenes from during the credits, and it has a cliffhanger involving Ada Wong, which might or might not be followed upon in the last (as of now) Resident Evil CG movies, Resident Evil Vendetta.