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Resident Evil: Degeneration (DVD Review)

23 Dec, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Resident Evil Degeneration

Street 12/27/08
Sony Pictures
$27.96 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, $24.94 UMD
Rated ‘R’ for bloody violence.

So many things that worked in the original Resident Evil film trilogy are missing from Degeneration, the new feature-length CG-animated installment in the zombie franchise.

A creepy Raccoon City? Long gone. The evil, global Umbrella Corporation? Bankrupt. Milla Jovovich? Yeah, keep dreaming.

The T-Virus and swarms of gnarly zombies? They’re still here. In spades.

Degeneration’s story bears little resemblance to the film trilogy, more closely sticking to the characters and plot lines of the video games. A man infected with the zombie virus turns before the plane he’s on lands. Meanwhile, at the airport below, a terrorist has infected a few people with the virus and has set them loose in the terminal. We all know it only takes a few zombies to get things started, and when the now-zombie-laden plane crashes into the terminal, all hell breaks loose.

Degeneration turns into a lengthy and confusing game of political intrigue, and people who’ve never played the video games will be scratching their heads. Zombie movies work when there’s more style than substance, and Degeneration’s writers seem to have lost sight of that.

The final half hour of the movie makes up for the drag with a very large, very bloody battle with one super-sized monster, and the wrap-up sets the scene for the video game Resident Evil 5.

Blu-ray Disc is the way to go with this one. The picture is pristine, if a tad dark, and the 5.1 audio is nice and loud. The Blu-ray exclusive bonuses — a pop-up trivia track and Sony’s first three-way picture-in-picture — are both fun. The PIP option allows for storyboards, animatics or motion capture, and makes Degeneration worth another viewing.

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