Thought I’d start posting some quick thoughts about things after watching them, as opposed to my usual long-after-viewing movie review posts.
So, some thoughts about Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, a new “limited run” animated series just released on Netflix. There may be spoilers below.
Caveat – I have not played any Resident Evil games, but I’ve watched all the previous animated movies, as well as the live action movies. So I may be missing some “deep lore”, but I’m pretty familiar with the world, at least as presented on non-interactive screens.
First thought, format. This is a 4 episode miniseries. Each episode is only 26min long, so about 20min if you eliminate the intro and credits. And Netflix released them all at once, so presumably most people will binge them. I do not understand why they packaged this as a tv show and not an 80min movie. The story is not structured in episodic fashion, there seems to be no benefit to splitting it, and it’s just annoying to have to skip the intro and skip to next episode each time. Weird.
Second thought, story. I don’t have very high expectations of a Resident Evil story – it doesn’t need to make much sense at a high level or in the details, or progress anywhere significant, or develop characters. What it does need to have is scary moments, icky monsters, and wild action scenes. And these are almost entirely lacking here. There’s one scene with a huge swarm of infected rats in a submarine that could’ve been scary, but they’re only around for about 30 seconds. Threatening infected people are mostly all killed as soon as they show up on screen. The big bad monster at the end is presented as someone to sympathize with more than fear. A central point of the plot is that fear leads to terror, and at no time was I scared about anything, not even a jump scare. The action was OK, but not the over-the-top wacky action I was expecting.
Final thought, visuals. This show looks great, though it is not trying to pass as full realism and in quality is similar to a video game cutscene. In game terms, the textures and lighting and rendering are all high quality. The hair mechanics and facial movement and all the little things are all as expected. But somehow they’ve still not managed to master actually moving human bodies in a realistic way, there’s an uncanny valley feel whenever a normal person is shown moving. It’s quite annoying and noticeable, because other computer animation does this much better these days, even in-game action in games.
So, to wrap up on Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness… should’ve been a movie, meh story even for Resident Evil, and wonky character animation. I give it a 3/10.