Image Source: KADOKAWAanime on YouTube
And it’s the perfect amalgamation of the game series’ survival horror and over-the-top action roots.
Set in the same timeline as the main Resident Evil games and previous CG films, Resident Evil: Vendetta takes place in a world where terror attacks that turn the living and dead alike into zombie-like monsters is commonplace. All our heroes can do is attempt to prevent the major attacks and when that inevitably fails, contain the outbreak.
This time around, the story follows three past Resident Evil heroes. The first, Chris Redfield (Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Resident Evil: Revelations, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6), is on the trail of a mad arms dealer, Arias, who has developed a new strain of a zombie-making virus. However, when he arrives at Arias’ hideout—a mansion in the woods—he finds it seemingly abandoned.
The second returning main character is Rebecca Chambers (Resident Evil, Resident Evil 0) who, in the years since the events of the original game, has spent her time studying bio-terror viruses and creating cures. Now, as seemingly random zombie outbreaks happen all across the Great Lakes area, Rebecca is at the forefront of curing this new virus strain. But, of course, there are some who would rather her cure never see the light of day.
Our final hero for this outing is Leon S. Kennedy (Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Resident Evil: Damnation, Resident Evil 6). Mourning the loss of his latest team in a zombie outbreak in DC, Leon is drinking his sorrows away in a sleepy mountain town in Colorado. Of course, by this point, even Leon should know that zombies and monsters will find him wherever he goes.
As is hinted by the title of the film, revenge is the key theme in Resident Evil: Vendetta. Chris is out to bring down Arias for not only his transgressions against civilians in general but the BSAA in specific. Leon is looking for the man responsible for the death of his team. Even Arias himself is out for vengeance in his own, twisted way.
The only main character who bucks this trend is Rebecca, who is focused on fighting the viruses directly rather than the terrorists behind them.
The film itself is split cleanly into two main parts. The first is horror oriented, like the first few games, and follows Chris and his team in a classic Resident Evil-style mansion. It’s scary, full of tension, and basically evokes all the best horror moments the franchise has to offer. It is also quite ultraviolent and does not shy away from graphic scenes of gore in any way.
The other large chunk of the film is action-based, like many of the games over the past decade. It is full of crazy action akin to The Matrix, Equilibrium, or John Wick (as seen in the clip above). It’s so over the top that it’s laughable as Chris and Leon blaze a path through dozens upon dozens of zombies with ease. Yet, at the same time, it still fits with the melodramatic core of the film—and the franchise in general.
When you stop and think about it after the fact, Resident Evil: Vendetta is full of plot conveniences designed to get our heroes from one location to the next. It likewise has its fair share of ignored plot holes and subplots that go nowhere. For the most part, you won’t notice these in the moment—and that’s a big point in the film’s favor.
Resident Evil: Vendetta is a fun film. It’s melodramatic and full of creepy horror and over-the-top action. Or to put it another way, it’s a great amalgamation of the games that preceded it. If you are a fan of the classic series and just want to see what happens to Chris, Leon, and Rebecca after the events of Resident Evil 6, you won’t be disappointed.
Resident Evil: Vendetta will be released in Japanese theaters on May 27, 2017. It will be released in North America on June 19, 2017.