Graphic is top-notch, it’s on par with some of the best CG of this gen. Facial structure and body motion have been polished greatly, and props to Capcom for making hair look quite realistic. The shiniest part is how it cleverly manipulates the lighting, every light source has different ambiance. Tone of atmosphere looks differently under many shades, be it from moonlight, sunrise, tiny light from bullet holes or even simple flashlight. Shadow dances about delicately, making the contrast of light and dark even more featured.
Monsters are eerie down to its gruesome details, especially noted in occasional switch to first person view. While there are not many kinds, the movie highlighted its monsters with dynamic speedy movement and imposing physique. The movie succeeds in capturing the intense essence of older Resident Evil games, while not as consistently as it could’ve been, it’s certainly better than what its predecessors had to offer. Action is swift and neatly done, some are melee hand to hand combat, and silly it may be, Ada Wong fighting against female president is quite the spectacle.
At latter part, the action intensifies with remarkable pace. There are not many sequences that can rival the movie in its climatic moment, even amongst today’s adventure movie or game. However, these bits are rather short compared to the dull slow build up, its graphic is not without fault either. In some larger scale scenes, motion and details aren’t as smooth as the rest. The constant slow-mo might get old and it becomes very apparent from the number of stuffs thrown, it caters to 3D viewing.
Story is expectedly confusing, despite the social and political back story it tries to present. It’s a shame, since the plot could’ve been more solid if only there’s more explanation than stupid quips. Resident Evil is infamous in its regurgitation of B-movie humor attempt, it thinks that it’s clever, it’s most definitely not. I find it hard to believe anyone would have the time to produce corny remarks when running from homicidal nightmarish creatures.
The bad dialogue also hurts characterization, even though the movie barely has any character development to speak of. In several scenes, it tries to draw some sort of emotion, but the ludicrous script contradicts the effort. This is not some self-deprecating jokes that can be funny, it is just bad. Story severely needs more clarity, things just sort of happen, little to none explanation is given as it pushes more dramatic moments with frivolous lines.
Somber chirping tracks accompanies the movies; it’s pretty good, obviously bringing more reminiscence and some tension. Dubbing is decent, there’s a lip-sync awkwardness, but it is expected in multilingual film. Ending song is simply atrocious, bad marketing decision since the credit also serves as teaser for Resident Evil 6.
It’s undeniably the film has some production value as quality of the visual and action are high. Capcom commendably elevates the graphic, but the use of flimsy screenplay and inane catchphrase should be things of the past. The franchise is trapped in the limbo of advancing technology and mundane writing. As it stands now, Resident Evil: Damnation is a decent DVD spin-off plagued with tiresome plot.