It’s miles ahead of some of the live-action movies based on Resident Evil, but Damnation is still hard to recommend.
Resident Evil: Degeneration followed the blueprint of Capcom’s survival horror games so closely that the movie felt like a video game without the possibility of interaction. The characters were flat, the story was hard to keep track of and some of the action scenes felt repetitive. Despite having some problems, Damnation can be an enjoyable CGI movie for fans of the franchise from time to time.
Damnation takes place in the Eastern Slav Republic (a fictional country that separated from the Soviet Union) when brain-eating Lickers took over the country after a civil war. To counterattack this invasion, the United States sends an elite force led by Leon S. Kennedy who traveled to Russia to investigate the origin of the Bio-Organic Weapons and try to stop this new virus before it spreads around the globe. The Plaga is a virus that people started using to control the Lickers, but things got out of hand and this highly infective agent turned regular people into zombies. Zombies in this movie come in different forms, but the most prominent ones are The Plaga, a breed of undead that are fast and smart.
As you can see from this description, this is not a good entry point for the series. There are references to events from the games and there’s no proper introduction to the characters. Newcomers won’t have any problems understanding who’s the hero or the villain, but Damnation focuses so much on fan service that those new to the series will feel lost from time to time.
Despite not following the plot of any of the games, Damnation features some of the most popular characters from the games. Why would you go as far as making a Resident Evil movie with a new story and then include Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong as protagonists? And whether I like it or not, these characters are necessary because anyone who played Resident Evil 4 more or less knows what to expect from them.
And then there’s the animation. For the most part, the CGI gets the job done. The characters, environments and creatures look stunning and the animations are lifelike and convincing. On top of that, some of the characters from the game (like Leon or Ada Wong) look just like their virtual counterparts.
Resident Evil: Damnation isn’t as bad as Degeneration, but it’s still a disappointing horror CGI movie. The animation is well done, there are well-choreographed fight scenes and some of the characters from the games are portrayed faithfully, but the thin storyline, flat supporting characters and the fact that the movie fails to capture the essence of the games make it an enjoyable yet bland adaptation. It’s miles ahead of some of the live-action movies based on Resident Evil, but Damnation is still hard to recommend.