Julien Neaves, Editor
Plot: Former cop turned agent Leon S. Kennedy investigate a government conspiracy after the White House is attacked by zombies. The film is set between the events of the fourth and fifth Capcom Resident Evil games.
Review: I am a big fan of the Resident Evil franchise. I’ve played the first four video games (which range from decent to excellent), I’ve watched all six live-action films (which range from cheesy fun to downright abysmal), and I’ve seen all three Japanese CG films, namely Degeneration, Damnation, and Vendetta (which range from okay to very good, with the second being the best). So I was excited when it was announced Netflix would be doing a CG series. But that excitement dimmed after actually watching the show.
First of all, Infinite Darkness may be structured as a series but it’s four episodes of about 20 minutes each which is more like a mini-series. Now fellow Netflix video game adaptation Castlevania also began with just four episodes but that one felt much more episodic. Infinite Darkness felt like a film that they sliced up. I was looking forward to something that felt like an actual series. Maybe next season.
Returning to the first season, let me start with the positives first. The CG is very well done and you can tell that a lot of time and effort went into it. Some of the character faces look more realistic than others but none of them give that uncanny valley feeling. And the action scenes (where there are any) are frenetic and bloody, reminding me of the experience playing the actual video game. The climax with a monstrous creature definitely felt like a big boss fight. So kudos to the creators for replicating the video game feel.
And sadly that’s where the positives end. While the series opens with the start of a zombie attack in the fictional Arab nation of Penamstan this is cut short and we only return to the location for brief flashbacks. The Penamstan story seemed a whole lot more interesting than what we got. The story really focuses on the White House and video game protagonist Leon S. Kennedy being recruited for a special task force. He then uncovers a conspiracy involving the done-to-death trope of bioengineered soldiers. We get some zombie action in the White House which was good but nothing spectacular. And after that the shambling undead disappear.
There’s also a subplot of Claire Redfield and her investigation into the Penamstan incident but she barely does anything and is pretty ineffectual throughout the series. The writing overall tries to go into some deep themes but the plotting is so surface-level and the characters (both main and supporting) so one-dimensional that it all falls flat. And that was how I felt after watching the four episodes—flat. If you want CG Resident Evil you would be better off with the films. Let’s hope if there is another season of Infinite Darkness they deliver something a bit more epic and less basic.
Editor Jules’ Score: 5 out of 10
So are you a Resident Evil fan? What’s your favourite game and film? And you can check out more zombified content below:
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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.