LifeIsXbox’s Resident Evil: Death Island Review | Videogame movies don’t usually have the best track record. Alone in the Dark, DOOM, Hitman, and even BloodRayne have all had movie adaptations in the last decade or so, but the one thing that unites them is their poor box office performances and bad user reviews. It seems that unanimously, people agree that when it comes to films about our beloved franchises, movies just can’t get it right. Except for Silent Hill maybe, that one was pretty okay. Resident Evil: Death Island is the latest videogame movie that doesn’t grace our streaming platforms, and instead goes straight to digital and physical release. Much like the previous Resident Evil CG movies, Death Island focuses on the former STARS team members who have discovered a new strain of virus causing mass infections across the US, along with a new way to spread it. Gone is the usual zombie bite, and now we have a much more realistic, and scarier way of administering the T-Virus. Drones.
Resident Evil: Death Island is Directed by Eiichiro Hasumi, and Distributed by Stage 6 Films and Kadokawa Studio.
Resident Evil: Death Island stars Matthew Mercer, Nicole Tompkins, Stephanie Panisello, Kevin Dorman, Erin Cahill, Salli Saffoti, and Bill Butts.
What We Liked!
- Decent CGI | Out of all of the CGI Resident Evil movies that have come before it, Resident Evil: Death Island takes the crown for the most impressive CGI. The characters look like they are pulled straight from the games, and each character is played well by their respective voice actors. What makes this one better is that Capcom were actually on hand supporting the development of Death Island, giving the studio full access to their suite of models, character designs, and general guidance. Something that never happened in the previous CG movies. With this in mind, it is clear that Kadokawa Studio has used this to great effect.
- The Cast | One of the best aspects of Resident Evil: Death Island is the cast. We have never had a Resident Evil game or film that unites so many characters together in one setting. With this in mind, there is no reason that Resident Evil: Death Island wouldn’t appeal to any die-hard Resident Evil fan. Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, and even Rebecca Chambers is back. It’s such a great feeling seeing them all on screen together. Now if only we can get a game like that. The voice actors do a great job also, despite some not being the original voice actors from the games. The actors have done a great job however and the likeness will definitely fool some people into thinking these are the original cast members.
- The Intro to the Next Game? | What will undoubtedly serve as the intro for the next game, Resident Evil: Death Island focuses on the future of bio-warfare. A scary topic to think about by today’s standards. It definitely would make for an interesting setup for the next game, futuristic bioterrorism would be something of a series first. Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 did touch on this aspect a little toward the end of the campaigns, so it is definitely on the table of possibilities.
- The Music | The music in Resident Evil: Death Island is well-scored. It has a decent cinematic feel towards it throughout the movie that the new games are well-known for. Each of the action sequences has epic orchestral music that feels right at home here. It reminds me more of the Resident Evil Village soundtrack than anything else. The soundtrack in that game was more orchestral in nature than Resident Evil 4 remake with its more action-orientated synth and horror ambience.
- The Story | Personally, the story for Resident Evil: Death Island isn’t the strongest in the series. In the usual villain fashion, the narcissistic tendencies of the bad guy don’t seem justified at all. The opening to the movie does try its best to explain the reason behind it all and set up the rest of the film, but essentially it all boils down to the villain being forced to kill his friend in the opening scene, and as revenge, decides to take it out on the world by creating new bioweapons and testing it on the unsuspecting public and wildlife. As you can probably tell, not the best villain story-arch, but thankfully he has limited screen time and we have a decent movie focusing on killing zombies and evolved lickers.
- Why do they have to change Chris Redfield | There were some weird design choices back when Resident Evil 7 launched. Chris Redfield no longer looked like the usual buff badass we saw in Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil 5. Instead, we got the equivalent of having budget Chris Redfield who was skinny, less gritty, and flat. Probably why they decided to change him back when Resident Evil Village was released. In Resident Evil: Death Island, we do get a new Chris Redfield design once again, but this seems more of a hybrid between the two. Chris now maintains a slightly built body type, with full facial hair, but still looks flat somehow and less gritty. I don’t know the reason why they decided to change his design, but it doesn’t make for very good cohesion. The resulting model looks great, don’t get me wrong, but as a long-time Resident Evil fan, I really would like my Chris Redfield back.
What we Disliked
- Not as many bioweapons | Sadly, my biggest disappointment with Resident Evil: Death Island is the lack of bioweapons. We have the usual zombies which are featured a lot throughout the opening and middle scenes of the movie, and then we are introduced to the evolved lickers that can now breathe underwater. Apart from these, we have the final mutation of the villain and the drones that carry the T-Virus. I would really have loved to have seen some more of the iconic enemies from the series.
You’ll love this if you liked: Resident Evil, Resident Evil Vendetta, Resident Evil Degeneration & Resident Evil Damnation
Despite its weak villain and reasoning behind wanting to eliminate the world, Resident Evil: Death Island is a good entry into the Resident Evil universe that fills the gaps between Vendetta and Resident Evil 7. With a strong cast of fan favorites, good action scenes, and a solid final act, Resident Evil: Death Island is definitely worth the watch.
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I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.