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Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
4K UHD Released: 7/18/2017
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/21/2017
We all have that "Don't get me started..." topic. That subject where, whether the people around you want to hear it or not, you will not only give your opinion, but most likely drone on for quite some time. While I have several of them, one of the top three is Resident Evil. I have some incredibly strong views on Resident Evil, beginning with the games, which changed my life, to the movies, which ruined my life. Over the years, the games have progressively gotten away from the core material (first becoming straight-ahead action games and then turning into first-person shooters) and the live-action movies, well...they are just garbage. The only things which have somewhat retained the feel of the original games are the animated movies, the latest of which is Resident Evil: Vendetta.
As Resident Evil: Vendetta opens, Chris Redfield (voiced by Kevin Dorman) and a squad of BASS soldiers infiltrate a mansion in South America (which looks a lot like the Spencer Mansion) and Chris finds himself face-to-face with international arms dealer Glenn Arias (voiced by John DeMita), who reveals that he's created a new virus which makes BOWs (biological weapons) that can distinguish friend from foe. Following this, former S.T.A.R.S. member turned researcher Dr. Rebecca Chambers (voiced by Erin Cahill) is exposed to the new virus in her lab and is narrowly rescued by Chris. Rebecca reveals that she has an antidote to the virus just before she's kidnapped by Arias' goons. Chris turns to former Raccoon City Police Department officer Leon S. Kennedy (voiced by Matthew Mercer) for help and together the two race to rescue Rebecca before the virus overtakes her.
Resident Evil: Vendetta does have a few things going for it. There are certainly some components here which harken back to the first few games in the series. Along with aforementioned characters from the games (something that the live action moves has screwed up from the outset) and the clone of the Spencer Mansion, we have the killer zombie dogs, zombies, and a monster which looks like a cousin of the Tyrant. The opening sequence offers a nice amount of suspense and plays like something out of an actual horror movie. (Although, it is incredibly dark.) The finale definitely makes an attempt to play like something from one of the games.
However, most everything between the beginning and the ending is non-descript and somewhat boring. The dialogue sequences range from confusing to cringe-worthy. There is an exchange between Rebecca and her assistant which is simply painful to watch. The story is incredibly basic -- madman wants to release a deadly virus and must be stopped -- and the movie doesn't do much to build upon it. We learn Arias' backstory, and while it may be timely, it doesn't really resonate. So, the movie is made up of dialogue scenes which drag and a few action scenes which don't carry much weight. The third act also gets really sexist. The movie really goes off the rail when Chris is in a race against time...when he could not have idea of how much time he had.
Ju-On creator and Japanese horror legend Takashi Shimizu served as Executive Producer on Resident Evil: Vendetta and during the opening sequence, his presence is truly felt. However, I can't help but wonder how much he was involved with the rest of the movie, as what could have been an awesome horror movie turns into a tedious action film with horror overtones. Given that it at least tries to feel like a part of the Resident Evil universe, I have to give the movie some credit, but I'm still waiting from someone to make a movie which truly captures the spirit of the games.
Resident Evil: Vendetta offers an indestructible wedding dress on 4K UHD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc carries a 2160p HEVC transfer which runs at an average of 55 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source materials. It must be said again that the opening sequence is incredibly dark and must be watched in a completely dark room in order tell exactly what is going on. Outside of this, the movie looks good, and we can see the work which was put into creating detail and texture. The depth is excellent and there are some great shots which show off the multi-plane animation. The Disc carries a Dolby Atmos audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 6.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. From the opening scene, the track shows us that it's serious about delivering detailed surround sound effects. We also get stereo effects that show off sounds coming from off-screen. The subwoofer effects bring us wall-shaking bass during the action sequences.
The extras for Resident Evil: Vendetta are found on the included Blu-ray Discs. The first Disc offers an AUDIO COMMENTARY for the film from Director Takanori Tsujimoto, Executive Producer Takashi Shimizu, and Writer Makoto Fukami. "CGI to Reality" is made up of two entries. "The Creature" (14 minutes) focuses on the final battle and the design and implementation of the final monster. "Designing Vendetta" (10 minutes) look at how Ducati allowed the filmmakers to use their actual motorcycles in the film and how these were placed into action scenes. "Motion Capture Set Tour with Dante Carver" (11 minutes) has one of the actors taking us onto the set to see how skeletons of objects are used as a framework for the CG visuals. There is a "Stills Gallery", which is followed by a THEATRICAL TRAILER and a TEASER TRAILER. The "Bonus Disc" opens with "BASS Mission Briefing: Combat Arias" (5 minutes) gives an overview of the characters from the film through a computer program. "Designing The World of Vendetta" (4 minutes) is a brief Americanized featurette which looks at the locations and creatures. "Tokyo Game Show Footage 2016" (13 minutes) shows us an exhibit for the film at the show, complete with a presentation from the filmmakers.
Review Copyright 2017 by Mike Long