Fresh on 4K Ultra HD: ‘RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA’ will infect your home theater system

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Connor Bynum // Film Critic

RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA
Rated R, 97 minutes.
Director: Takanori Tsujimoto
Cast: Kevin DormanMatthew MercerErin CahillJohn DeMitaDarin De PaulBrian T. Delaney and Jason Faunt
Available today on 3-Disc 4K Ultra HD™/Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, 2-disc Blu-ray™ and DVD.

Any dedicated gamer would agree that the RESIDENT EVIL game franchise has long been a staple in the survival/horror genre. Or at least it used to be. Ever since the 2005 soft reboot of the franchise with RESIDENT EVIL 4, the franchise has slowly evolved from a gripping and terrifying experience of escaping the clutches of the undead to a generic near-parody of your basic shoot-em-up. This all changed with the recent release of RESIDENT EVIL 7: BIOHAZARD that took the series back to its survival/horror roots after straying so far from the path. Yet after watching the straight to home video release of the CG movie RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA, it feels like nobody has learned a thing.

Movie Quality: D+
The main problem with VENDETTA is that it’s essentially a 93-minute cut scene to game you never get to play. And while the RESIDENT EVIL franchise has never been known for its grounded story, even this one is as basic and forgettable as they come. Series regulars Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) and Leon S. Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) are forced to team up to stop a biological weapon manufacturer Glenn Arias from unleashing a deadly virus on the people of New York. That’s it. Other than Arias, the characters are given very little in terms of emotional depth, and even in his case it is a stretch.

But hey, if the film is showcasing the more action-heavy aspect of the games, that’s got to at least be somewhat entertaining, right? Unfortunately, VENDETTA can’t even get that right. Outside of two mildly interesting action set pieces in the third act, this film is flat out boring filled with scene after scene of forgettable and pointless dialogue (including a bizarre and completely unnecessary bit where some side characters mention how the show BREAKING BAD is ahead of its time).

Video/Audio Quality: B-
The UHD 4K presentation in VENDETTA is somewhat of a mixed bag. Being a CG movie, the visual quality will only ever look as good as the animators decide. Some aspects like Leon’s hair or the well designed creature effects are greatly enhanced by the increased resolution. But the models for lesser characters and most of the zombies simply didn’t have as much work put into them. However, the added color depth from HDR is a welcome addition, especially in the darker opening sequence in a zombie filled mansion.

While perfectly suitable, the audio track in the film doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression. Gun shots are clear and zombie shrieks are piercing, but there really isn’t much to get excited over in terms of sound design.

Extras: C+
There are some intriguing extras included on the standard Blu-ray disc for people interested in the work put into creating the world of the film as well as a feature commentary, but this will probably only interest the most dedicated of fans.

Final Score: C
Everything in RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA just feels lazy. From the stilted dialogue to the labored climactic rooftop fight scene, this film never seems to escape the notion that you’re watching the cliff notes version of a game CAPCOM didn’t want to make. Even the most ardent 4K enthusiasts should let this one rest in peace.

4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack and 2-disc Blu-ray™ Bonus Materials Include:

  • Three Featurettes:
    • “The Creature”
    • “Motion Capture Set Tour with Dante Carver”
    •  “CGI to Reality: Designing Vendetta”
  • Still gallery (30 sketches/designs)
  • Filmmaker Audio Commentary (in Japanese) with Director Takanori Tsujimoto, Executive Producer Takashi Shimizu and Writer Makoto Fukami
  • BONUS DISC with three featurettes:
    • “BSAA Mission Briefing: Combat Arias”
    • “Designing The World of Vendetta”
    • “2016 Tokyo Game Show Footage”

Digital Extras Include:

  • Three Featurettes:
    • “The Creature”
    • “Walk-around on set (motion-capture) with Dante Carver”
    •   “CGI to Reality: Designing Vendetta”
  • Still gallery (30 sketches/designs)
  • Filmmaker Audio Commentary (in Japanese) with Director Takanori Tsujimoto, Executive Producer Takashi Shimizu and Writer Makoto Fukami

DVD Bonus Materials Include:

  • Still gallery (30 sketches/designs)
  • Filmmaker Audio Commentary (in Japanese) with Director Takanori Tsujimoto, Executive Producer Takashi Shimizu and Writer Makoto Fukami
About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.