Netflix: Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness

More like endless trash.

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a four part “anime” series on Netflix and I use the term “anime” lightly and only because that’s what Netflix calls it. It’s a 3d animated movie cut into four nearly half hour episodes of nonsense that says nothing and ultimately goes nowhere. The characters serve as a vehicle for the writers to huff their own farts and wax poetic about terror or something.

Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, Infinite Darkness centers mainly around Leon Kennedy (Nick Apostolides)  and Claire Redfield (Stephanie Panisello), both of whom are voiced by their Resident Evil 2 Remake actors. Claire Redfield is now an activist working to rebuild homes in the post-civil war Penamstan, a fictional country whose name sounds more and more stupid every time a character says it. Leon Kennedy is riding high as the President’s favorite government agent after saving his daughter Ashley in Resident Evil 4.

I’d like to say that Infinite Darkness is the best of the animated films, but that’s not a high bar. Vendetta really cranked up the trash factor to eleven and Infinite Darkness scales it back quite a bit. There’s still a lot of high-grade stupidity you have to look past if you want to enjoy this movie, far beyond what the games expected even at their worst. It’s like someone looked at the Paul W.S. Anderson films and thought they were a little too grounded in realism.

It’s really impressive how despite the improvements made to the Resident Evil games over the past few years that the animated series continues to be absolute trash. The script makes it feel like a Leslie Nielson parody with actors delivering the most ridiculous nonsense in a completely deadpan and serious manner. Physics in this world is fluid and objects interact as realistic as the director needs them to at the time. Characters move with the rigidity that tells you they definitely weren’t motion captured.

An entire military sub is taken out stealthily by zombies. A zombie with no arms and legs miraculously happens to fall on top of a person to bite them. Leon responds to an army of zombie rats with “shoulda had some cheese.” An international nuclear crisis is averted by a single comment from one character.

Resident Evil is at its best when it’s at its most basic; haunted mansions, danger around every corner, and a loose cast of characters trying not to die. It really drags behind when characters start waxing poetic about their motivations, like this where the big bad guy goes on multiple rambling diatribes about showing the world what real terror is.

As this is Resident Evil, you get the contractually obligated plot about a pharmaceutical company using a city to test its biological weapons of war to sell to governments. There’s also a plot on using the virus to create super soldiers who are inexplicably blackmailed with the serum that keeps them from turning into zombies. It’s idiotic even as the side notes, but much worse as the entrée to the meal.

At two hours, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a big waste of time. The plot is utterly stupid, the characters bland and forgettable, and it feels like the script was written by an AI algorithm fed nothing but the worst of Steven Seagal’s backlog. Nothing interesting happens in the entire two hours. The film also seems to go out of its way to make the Middle Eastern country of Panamstan’s inhabitants look as non-Middle Eastern as humanly possible.

And yet it still isn’t as bad as Vendetta.

Rating: D

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