The general public is more familiar with Milla Jovovich kicking ass while wearing skin-tight leather outfits in the Resident Evil movie franchise, but Sony and Capcom quietly released Resident Evil: Degeneration a few years back, an all-CGI movie that was basically like one of the games with all the gameplay cut out. And now there's another one, called Resident Evil: Damnation, that unfortunately shows off the best and worst aspects of the Resident Evil games.
Resident Evil: Damnation starts off with a whole lot of extraneous exposition to set the scene before setting Leon Kennedy loose in a fictional Eastern European country at civil war with itself... and some BOW's are getting involved to make sure things get extra messy. Las Plagas factors in heavily in the story, transforming everyone into brainless monsters. But there's also Lickers and a couple of Tyrants at the end as bosses. Oh, and Ada Wong shows up for a couple of scenes here and there, but her role in everything is just enigmatic and slightly irritating. See, the plot is like a Resident Evil game it sort of makes sense, in a general way, but with way too much talky speechifying and posturing. Honestly, the plot is okay, but the script is way over-the-top in spots. A few times I actually groaned at some of the dialogue coming out of peoples' mouths.
The animation is really impressive. Everyone looks great, and they're even able to animate subtle facial expressions that allow the characters to act without even speaking. The motion capture ensures that all the action is dead on. But they still can't quite get the lip-syncing right. I don't know if that's because this was a Japanese production and they couldn't re-animate the lips to fit the English words when they translated it, or if they just didn't bother to match the lips that closely to the dialogue in the first place. It's kind of distracting in scenes. Which is a shame, because the actual voice acting isn't that bad. Also, it's clear that this was made for 3D, and seeing it on a 2D DVD left me wishing I could've seen it in a theater in all three dimensions. There are some spectacularly choreographed fight scenes that I bet would've looked amazing in 3D.
Honestly, if you're a big RE fan, you've probably already seen Resident Evil: Damnation. But if you haven't, and you at least enjoy the series, you should give it a rent. The animation and action setpieces more than make up for the overly-complicated plot and hacky script. The live-action Resident Evil movies may be criticized for being mindless action flicks, but these CGI ones go a little too far in the other direction for my taste.