Though it suffers from the occasional hiccup, Resident Evil: Vendetta captures the franchise's cheesy, over-the-top action pretty well in just below 2 hours.
The film follows the likes of series' darlings Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, and Rebecca Chambers as they compete against yet another zombie virus – this time one that allows zombies to be controlled. It's a cliched premise that's been done time and time again in the franchise and shouldn't be taken too seriously. It's a given that most people in the theater aren't expecting an Academy Award-winning story, so don't get your hopes up that you'll be crying by the end of this.
What is appealing about the movie is its insane action. For the sake of not spoiling too much, there were plenty of moments in which the crowd I was with yelled or applauded with laughter (a lot of those just so happened to include Leon – go figure). The animation is well done and keeps up with all the excitement on screen, particularly when Chris and Leon stab and shoot zombies at close range.
Rebecca Chambers' more intelligent side gets a chance to shine, which is welcome considering we haven't had a glimpse of this aspect of her since Zero. Though she ultimately becomes a catalyst for a damsel-in-distress-like story, this isn't necessarily a huge game-breaker – it helps raise tension a little more. I actually enjoyed the prospect of one of the series' signature characters turning into a zombie (and imagining how Chris and Leon would react to that).
Where the film struggles a little is in its slower moments, which usually amount to either being poorly executed or bad to the point of cringe. If you're a fan of anime, you probably know what I mean. There are moments that just don't translate well for a Western audience that come off as way too cheesy, and any semblance of sympathy for anyone outside of the heroes in this story is thrown out the window in ridiculous fashion.
That being said, Resident Evil: Vendetta is a movie that I liked just as a movie, but also kind of wished was a game too. It does what it sets out to accomplish, which is reinvigorate the franchise's signature characters and premise, all the while reminding fans what exactly Resident Evil is all about: senseless zombie-killing. And just who doesn't like that?