Resident Evil: Vendetta Blu-ray Review
Written by John Colianni
Blu-ray released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto and Alexander Von David
Written by Makoto Fukami, Joe McClean and Alexander Von David
2017, 97 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on July 18, 2017
Kevin Dorman as Chris Redfield
Matthew Mercer as Leon S. Kennedy
Erin Cahill as Rebecca Chambers
John DeMita as Glen Arias
Fred Tatasciore as Diego Gomez
Cristina Valenzuela as Maria Gomez
Computer-generated imagery in cinema has come leaps and bounds since its serious implementation in so many of our favorite modern classics. If someone said fifty years ago that computers would be capable of creating entire cinematic experiences, they would have been called crazy. Now there is rarely a film today that doesn't take advantage of CGI. Sure, practical effects are preferred in certain instances but those can only do so much when tackling certain subject matter. In the case of horror, one of the most beloved franchises has had a CGI makeover that visually impresses and makes its live-action predecessors pale in comparison. Resident Evil: Vendetta, the third film in a series, coming after Degeneration and Damnation.
For full disclosure, I have not seen Degeneration or Damnation, but after a couple of quick synopsis reads, I caught up with the story and got right into Vendetta. This film reunites series favorites Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield to stop a madman from unleashing a new threat, the A-virus, on the population of New York City. This story's villain is a man named Arias, a death merchant who has vowed vengeance against the U.S. Government for killing his family with a drone strike. Rebecca Chambers, a former member of Chris' S.T.A.R.S. Team who was involved in the original mansion incident, is now a university professor specializing in vaccine development. When Rebecca is captured by Arias, it is up to Leon, Chris and their team to save her and stop a deadly outbreak of zombies before millions die in the crossfire.
Resident Evil: Vendetta is an action-packed joyride. In just over a 90-minute run time, you'll be able to experience all the fun of people being devoured and zombies being mowed down by our onscreen heroes. It's a gorgeous CGI film that impresses me the way that a movie such as Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within did when it released. Scenes are designed in a way that you sometimes forget you're not watching a film with real actors. The voice acting done by Kevin Dorman, Matthew Mercer, Erin Cahill and many others does not falter for a moment and lines are acted out perfectly. With all that being said, the most unfortunate part of Vendetta is the story as a whole. Scene after scene feels painfully fragmented and while what is being shown on screen is impressive for any visual designer to be able to deliver, the overall composition of the story is muddled. The partnering up of Leon and Chris, two of Resident Evil's powerhouse characters should have more of a punch but it feels like they're copied and pasted from their previous iterations.
Fans of Resident Evil, including myself, will have the appropriate amount of fun with Vendetta. While it doesn't have is fair share of issues, the live-action representation of Resident Evil still reigns supreme for the most disappointing and convoluted version of Capcom's video game franchise. Vendetta will do no more damage than what has been done over the years. What I can only hope for is that the most recent installment of the game series, Resident Evil 7, will ignite some CGI adaptations in the same vein as these past three films.
Video and Audio:
Vendetta is presented in beautiful 1080p, which if it wasn't, that would be pretty strange for a Blu-ray. Everything that you see on screen is visually impressive for a CGI feature.
The 7.1 Dolby Digital sounds awesome and if you're playing things through surround sound or a bar, then its all the better. It's worth noting that the voice acting, paired with the impressive CG, is really what makes Vendetta worth watching. If only the story was more engaging then I'd be compelled to give this more than just one watch.
What I find just as enjoyable as the feature itself are the special features packed onto the Blu-ray. The filmmaker audio commentary is just what you'd expect but for those more interested in the CGI creation that goes into a work such as this, the CGI to Reality featurettes are enjoyable. The tour of motion capture set was pretty interesting for those who don't know how the physical motions of actual people translate into digital creation. A stills gallery as well as world building feature all also added on for your viewing pleasure.