As Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City was released in theathers earlier this week (in most countries), let’s take a look at the final Resident Evil CG animated film, Vendetta, which is also technically the last of the “CG trilogy”, as in all three movies have Leon Kennedy as the main character and are set in the same universe of the Resident Evil games, to contrast with the live action film series (as previously said).
The biggest change – but not the most noticeable – is the animation, with this film produced by Marza Animation Planet instead of Digital Frontier, the studio behind all previous Resident Evil CG movies and even the short film Biohazard 4D Executer that we started this little retrospective with.
The name might not say much, but it’s actually a studio that started by providing CGI cutscenes for the Sonic The Hedgehog games, and eventually for both anime TV series and even full lenght features, working alongside japanese animation titans like Toei for the 2012 3D CG Space Captain Harlock movies, even Lupin III The First, and more recently being one of the production companies for the new Sonic The Hedgehog movies, in a kinda poetic turn of events.
While the plot its set between Resident Evil 6 and 7, this wasn’t released to also function as a promo for a Resident Evil mainline game (despite the opportunity), and it might feel like it’s them recycling scripts, it’s not really a redo of Damnation, it’s still about a figure controlling the infected with a biological weapon, but plays it way more safe, with Glenn Arias, a death merchant that developed a new type of virus (dubbed the A-Virus) that lets him turn people into zombies that can be instructed to attack specific targets.
After a failed attempt to capture Arias, Chris Redfield is forced to contact Rebecca Chambers, now a medical scientist working on a vaccine to the A-Virus, and eventually enlist the help of the “retired” Leon S. Kennedy, as the BOW merchant schemes to orchestrate an even bigger attack..
It’s more on the line of the typical B-movie plots RE dips from, with the megalomaniac villain with a tragic backstory of a dead wife and a desire to make everyone pay in a grandiose fashion by attacking a big american city, ditching any possible moral grey area or political implications, it’s pretty straightforward through and through, so don’t expect any interesting twist or event.
Leon is not the main protagonist here (it’s Chris Redfield, makes sense since he has more personal stakes in the matter) there mostly to kick some ass and provide some continuity between these movies, by mentioning the airport disaster in Degeneration and other characters confirming the Plagas being used during the events of Damnation.
Still, the cliffhanger with Ada Wong at the end of Damnation it’s never explained or referred to in any fashion, so it’s no wonder this one also ends with a cliffhanger about the busty latex villain second-hand (also not properly explained who she was exactly and why she was helping Arias) still alive and plotting a vendetta of her own… one that maybe it’s carried out in some comic or secondary RE piece of media i’ve never heard about. I have no clue nor care too much to find out.
On the upside, the less interesting and more typical plot is easier to “swallow” since Vendetta definitely packs a lot more gore and a lot more action, with emphasis clearly being on the more typical zombies with the hulking abominations that come in multiple transformation phases, lots of combat sequences and bombast setpieces, not really atmosphere or characters (which are ok).
While you can tell it’s not the same identical animation as the two previous movies, it’s pretty close that at a glance you won’t really notice, the quality it’s still top notch work, regardless if you do or don’t like the style that makes these movies feels like feature length videogame cutscenes. Ones with pretty good production values and actually quite entertaining in themselves, even if fan of the series will definitely get the most out of it.
Damnation was better, but this it’s still quite fun, so not the worst way to “end” things with, if this will stay the as the final Resident Evil CG film, i guess Capcom will make more seasons of that middling Infinite Darkness series on Netflix that feels like one of these movies, just split into a handful of episodes.