Resident Evil Infinite Darkness is the latest in the CGI movie series that takes place in the same universe as the Resident Evil video games. The films Degeneration, Damnation and Vendetta mostly concern themselves with little side adventures between main series games involving Leon, the Redfield siblings and Ada Wong. They can most favourably be described as “fine”, and Infinite Darkness (although it is a tv show) continues this tradition.
The show follows Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield in 2006, when after a zombie attack on the White House both set out to find who caused the attack, what really happened in the Penamstam civil war 6 years ago and how these two events are linked.
The first thing that should strike any watcher of the show are the visuals. The anime is created entirely in CGI using motion capture for the performances. Sometimes in low light lighting conditions the show can look borderline photorealistic which is really impressive for a show created for a streaming service, and the grounded cinematography that moves with the characters and reacts to gunfire just as much as them helps lend the show a genuine sense of weight and gravitas in action heavy scenes.
But that animation doesn't save the show from its many failings.
Despite the show's marketing and first episode leading us to believe that Leon and Claire would share the spotlight, which is not the case. Throughout most of the show whilst Leon is off saving the world, getting himself into shootouts and close calls with mutant rats on submarines, Claire looks through old newspapers and websites and you can just feel the director wanting to hurry though her parts of the story just to get back to Leon.
Claire being given the slower more plot heavy aspects of the narrative would be okay if the narrative were at all engaging. The main mysteries for the series feel too obvious and dull for them to be compelling or engaging so most of Claire's scenes feel like they drag any momentum the show had away from it which just leads to a mostly boring watch. And this is not helped by the series’ constant use of flashbacks which rarely reveal any information you care about and only further dragged down the pace and my already waning enjoyment.
The series leans more towards the action horror of Resident Evil 6 than any survival horror games in the series, and although that's in line with the other CGI Resi movies, it doesn't give this entry any identity of its own as it’s indistinguishable from the other 3 other CGI movies. The absolute thing about it is that all these factors create a series that isn’t entertaining in any way, and if you put this on you’ll find yourself glancing at your phone a bit more often than you would like.
I’m calling this a movie because it comes out to 105 minutes in length when all the episode times are combined and when it was first announced it was announced as a film. It’s just a movie that’s been cut and rearranged into 4 parts because tv shows get more attention on Netflix than films.
Resident Evil Infinite Darkness is not good. It’s painfully average and you’ll likely forget about it moments after the credits roll but if you’re a Resident Evil fan who just wants to watch mindless crap you could probably do worse than this.
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