Continuing on from yesterday’s look at the second Resident Evil game, we look at the second Resident Evil CG film, Damnation, once again staring Leon S. Kennedy, and this time fellow Resident Evil 2 debutant Ada Wong. Thankfully the four years between the two films were obviously full of either leaps forward in technology, or just better technology becoming cheaper, as this film is a lot prettier to look at and full of a lot less awkward animations! Let’s take a closer look…
Leon S. Kennedy sneaks into the Eastern Slav Republic to verify rumours that Bio-Organic Weapons (BOWs) are being used in the country’s civil war, which the U.S. and Russia are preparing to intervene in. After his arrival, Ingrid Hunnigan, Leon’s mission support, informs him the government has ordered an immediate retreat of all U.S. forces. Determined to stop the BOWs, Leon ignores the order…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
Leon looking stern… unusual! (it actually is this time round…)
Leon S. Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) – Government agent Leon Kennedy is a specialist in all things B.O.W., a fact I’m sure he wishes weren’t true. Still, at least he can tackle constant horror with a smile on his face! That’s… something!
Alexander “Buddy” Kozachenko (Dave Wittenberg) – A former teacher who lost his family during the civil war in his home of East Slav and has since taken up arms against the government. He is willing to go to any lengths to get revenge…
Svetlana Belikova (Wendee Lee) – President of the Eastern Slav Republic and has no problem using what ever means possible to gain complete control of the country and stamp out the rebels.
Ada Wong (Courtenay Taylor) – As per usual, Ada is on a mission to retrieve a B.O.W. sample for an unnamed buyer, and as per usual happens to run into Leon a few times while doing it!
Sure they’re Lickers, but where is the low croaky groan?
The animation is a lot better here than the previous effort. People aren’t standing around like they’re frozen in time, there is a lot of hair and object movement, and some really well animated fight scenes. It’s not top budget CGI, but its good enough to lose yourself in. The voice work is also tonnes better, with Leon being voiced by his current voice actor Matthew Mercer, who is far more charismatic and less monotone that his predecessor, plus the other characters are well chosen and do their jobs well.
The story is a good change of pace for Resident Evil as well, being set in a unstable Eastern European country, it has some nice views … as things get destroyed, and the “good guys”, particularly Alexander, are in that grey area as they use B.O.W.s to try and take their country back, which puts just as many innocents in harms way as government soliders. The B.O.W.s in question are Lickers (who sadly don’t make their trademark low groan from Resident Evil 2….) and Plagas-infected townspeople, which was weird to see in a “film”, given you’re used to shambling zombies rather than these more intelligent types from Resi 4 and 5. Towards the end you also get some mass produced Tyrant types from Resident Evil 2, which is a nice nod to Leon’s origins alongside the Lickers.
The President herself is a little less one dimensional than she first seems, as she can hold her own in 1 on 1 combat, as shown against Ada and Leon, showing that she was clearly based at least partially on Vladimir Putin. Ada’s role is pretty minimal beyond one or two quick fights and more Leon teasing, but that’s what her role in the games are anyway, so… The last character of any note is gag character JD, who at least does his job as comic relief without getting too annoying… just.
Ada Wong, looking … pretty normal actually. I was a bit short on available screengrabs, I’m afraid…
Although not anywhere near as bad as the previous film, there are some cringey script moments, particularly Leon’s cheesy action movie one-liners that he often mysteriously quips to himself during moments of near death. Still, I prefer cheesy one-liner Leon to dull as dishwater monotone Leon from Degeneration…
It also has to be said that a negative to the film is that if you’re not familiar with the game series then you won’t get a lot of the references. I understand that these CG films are very much for the fans of the games only, and that’s fine as I’m sure they make back their money (otherwise they wouldn’t have done three of them) but I still feel I should mention it.
A Mass-Produced Tyrant holding a Licker and looking at Leon… that’s a whole lot of Resident Evil 2 references in one picture!
Desperate rebels in an Eastern European country using B.O.W.s to try and take back rule, only to (eventually) see the government use them in retaliation. This is the worst case scenario that was outlined in earlier games, and reason why so many characters from the original four games (1-3 and Code: Veronica) ended up in specialised teams to counteract Bio-terrorism. It’s a unique spin on a good traditional setting, and is a very fun watch, especially if you’re a fan of the game series… possibly only if you’re a fan of the game series… ah well, I enjoyed it! Feel free to knock it down to a 3 if you’re not a fan!