Most people who know me know to avoid the subject of the Resident Evil live action movies. If you have three hours to kill, by all means, tell me why the live action movie is better than the games and I’ll spend three hours telling you why you’re wrong. But, thankfully, we’re not here to talk about the live action abominations but the newly released animated movie, Resident Evil: Vendetta. Spoilers ahead…and away we go.
This Capcom approved installment takes place between the events of Resident Evil 6 and 7 games. It follows a much angrier Leon S. Kennedy, a much leaner and different-faced (but still different than RE7) Chris Redfield and the smart as a whip but still adorable Rebecca Chambers. Chris is on a mission to find and eliminate a bio-weapon arms dealer named Glenn Arias, who is on his own mission for revenge against the government after his family and new wife were bombed during their wedding.
Arias has developed a new strain of virus called the A-Virus which, in three steps, allows Arias to infect those of his choosing, wait until he is ready for the virus to activate and attack people he has chosen. Needless to say, in the wrong hands, this is a very powerful weapon.
Rebecca is a professor specializing in vaccine development and finds that the first step of the virus is infecting the population via drinking water. Step two is vaccinating those you don’t want infected once the trigger initiates. The last step is to trigger the infection via gas. She also finds that it is connected to the Los Illuminados cult and their development of Los Plagas, which ties the universe of the movie to RE5.
The universe is also tied to RE6 via the interaction between Chris and Leon. RE6 is the first time, onscreen anyway, that Leon and Chris interact in person and work together. During Resident Evil: Vendetta, the familiarity is definitely there and it snuggles in nicely between the events of 6 and 7. We will know more after the “Not a Hero” DLC comes out…hopefully.
That didn’t spoil TOO much of the film but its ties to the games’ universe is important. With so much mystery surrounding Resident Evil: Biohazard, every little bit helps. With the new game, many signs point to Chris looking for something or someone and this movie leaves open the possibility for that to happen.
Now, let’s get into the look of this movie. Its damn gorgeous is what it is. I find it funny and infuriating that a live action movie with the budget of more than what most people will make in their entire lifetime can’t pop out a decent video game adaptation but the animated version absolutely kills it. Certain shots, like those looking at security footage are so tight and realistic that I forget I’m watching an animated movie.
Now, Resident Evil: Vendetta isn’t without its flaws. Photos in the movie still look overly cartoon-y and mouth movement can sometimes be very robotic but can we PLEASE talk about the fight scenes? These are the BEST fight scenes I have seen in anywhere. There are some big shoes to fill, I know, but watch the scene where Chris is fighting a horde in the lab of Arias and you will see what I’m talking about.
Chris’s movements are smooth as butter and actually believable. His leaner stature makes it seem natural that he would be faster and more nimble. Leon, being ever the drama queen, comes in with his motorcycle moves that are just so extra but he’s Leon goddamn Kennedy and we expect nothing less.
I must also mention, however, the gunfight between Chris and Arias. For those of you who play FPS games like Battlefield, this gunfight reminds me of shooting my gun and realizing that someone has put my movement sensitivity too high and I end up shooting in circles and hit everything besides what I’m aiming at. Now have two guys trying to shoot each other with their sensitivity all the way up and you have the fight scene. All it was missing was the Benny Hill theme music.
A bigger surprise than the facelift is the change in the very distinct voice of Chris Redfield. Since RE5, he has been voiced by Roger Craig Smith. In Resident Evil: Vendetta, he is voiced by Kevin Dorman and in RE7, he is voiced by David Vaughn. It would seem that Capcom might be having an existential or middle aged crisis right now.
Glenn Arias is voiced by John DeMita, who is no stranger to Japanese animation and is used often in Myazaki movies. Rebecca is voiced by Erin Cahill and Leon is voiced by Leon veteran (he voiced Leon in RE: Damnation and RE6) Matthew Mercer.
The movie was produced by Capcom and Marza Animation Company in Japan. Resident Evil: Vendetta is the third in the canon animated movies following Resident Evil: Degeneration and Resident Evil: Damnation.
Overall, I was super impressed with this movie. The movement was smooth and seamless, the story was standard Resident Evil but not dry. There were a couple moments in the movie where I thought the cheesiness factor was a bit high (especially when Arias’s B.O.W.s were introduced) but not so much as to discount the rest of the movie. I highly recommend this installment in the Resident Evil universe.
If you want to check out the trailer before you see the movie, you can watch it here. To see the evolution of Chris Redfield, we have an article for that too, and for latest news on the reboot of the live action movies, check that out here. This film is only available digitally at this time but you can pre-order the blu ray now.