If you’re willing to overlook the film’s archaic animation, you may enjoy it for what it is: a tightly scripted experience that passionate fans of the franchise will probably like.
Even the most fervent Resident Evil fanatics are not likely to be familiar with Biohazard 4D-Executer, a Japanese computer-animated film based on Capcom’s popular series of survival horror games. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that the film saw a very limited release even in Japan, where it was only shown in theme parks, selected theaters and small booths. Nevertheless, another reason why Executer is not very popular outside its country of origin is because it doesn’t stand out in any meaningful way.
The main plot is quite simple. A military squad goes to an abandoned warehouse in Raccoon City, whose population has been transformed into flesh-eating zombies due to the T-virus infection. Their main objective is to retrieve some important data hidden somewhere in those facilities. In this place, the soldiers find some truly gruesome creatures and soon enough, members of the team start getting killed. This rudimentary story may have worked fine for a game, but for a film, it leaves a great deal to be desired.
One of the first things you’ll probably notice about the animated film is that Executer was developed with the use of 3D technology in mind, so as in most modern films that make use of this gimmick, expect a lot of objects to be thrown at the screen. As usual, this leads to some incredibly ridiculous scenes. For example, in one part of the movie, a whole scene is shown through the eyes of a cockroach that has been infected with the T-virus. We see the little bug wandering around, trying to find a suitable prey. Eventually, the cockroach attaches itself to a rat. The mutated rodent goes on to infect a nearby crow. Then the bird follows some members of the military squad and… well, I guess you get the idea. The second element you’ll probably notice is that the animation hasn’t aged very well as characters look weird and most animations seem obtuse by today’s standards.
In fact, the way in which the various events take place is quite reminiscent of the first games in the series. What does that mean exactly? The story is subpar, characters underdeveloped and dialogues way too ridiculous. Finally, it seems almost impossible to finish a review about Executer without making reference to a particular scene during the conclusion. Without detailing the particulars of the film’s ending, let me just tell you that it involves an evil-looking, smirking dog. Believe me when I tell you that the conclusion is indeed blatantly absurd.
Even when Executer may seem like a mediocre experience that makes use of an overly old-fashioned 3D technology, I must admit that I enjoyed it much more than Extinction and Afterlife combined. The fact that Executer only lasts 20 minutes also helps, but if you’re willing to overlook the film’s archaic animation, you may enjoy it for what it is: a tightly scripted experience that passionate fans of the franchise will probably like.