Anime / Resident Evil: Degeneration

Resident Evil: Degeneration is a CGI film released in 2008 by Capcom as part of the Resident Evil continuity. It should not be confused with the live-action films.

The film is set in 2005, seven years after the destruction of Raccoon City, one year after the events of Resident Evil 4, and brings back the main characters of Resident Evil 2. Claire Redfield, after the events of Code: Veronica, has decided she isn't suited for actively combating Umbrella and its bioweapons, instead joining a non-government organization known as "Terra Save", which both opposes bioweaponry and conducts search and rescue of chemical and bioterrorist attacks. She goes to an airport to chaperone a little girl with missing parents when zombies suddenly infest the terminal. With only a few suvivors, the military calls in an expert on these kind of situations to stage a rescue mission: Leon S. Kennedy. Hilarity Ensues. Then not so much.

Unlike the live-action Resident Evil movies, this one actually takes place in the continuity of the games and uses some fan favorite characters for protagonists along with a couple (as in two) new bloods to serve the Too Dumb to Live roles you simply can't have a zombie movie without. It also continues the somewhat new series tradition of taking itself less seriously, though not as much as the Narm Charm-tastic Resident Evil 4. It brings back the T-virus zombies for another outing as well as letting a boss monster from Resident Evil 2 out to play.

It is followed up by the sequel Resident Evil: Damnation with Leon once again as the protagonist.

Resident Evil: Degeneration provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl / Action Survivor: Zigzagged with Claire. Per her own dialogue, she's voluntarily demoted herself to pacifism, and would rather look after the civilians than kick ass. Hand her a gun, though, and it becomes apparent why she's one of the few survivors of Raccoon City.
  • Actionized Sequel: While Degeneration takes place after Resident Evil 4, it is more a sequel to Resident Evil 2, and is much more of an action movie than a horror movie.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Claire gives Senator Davis a good one for abandoning Rani.
  • Artistic License Military: While most of the weapons used on-screen are accurately portrayed and rendered, the U.S. Marines deployed to counter the outbreak, and later to neutralize Curtis Miller, are wearing U.S. Army ACU (Adaptive Combat Uniform) fatigues and equipment, as noted by the IMFDB. It should be noted that in the Japanese version, the responders are referred to as actually being U.S. Army Rangers.
  • A-Team Firing: Greg. In a mild variation, he has a fairly high hit rate. He even holds the barrel shroud in an overhand grip to reduce climb. It should be noted, though, that he keeps doing this even after Leon tells him to aim for the head. Twice. It's at least justified in context. The SRT isn't trained for dealing with T-virus outbreaks, and years of training for center of mass shots and muscle memory simply can't be overcome in a few minutes. Even after coming face to face with the fact that the hostiles aren't still alive Greg and Angela still have trouble coming to terms with it.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Leon and Claire always aim for the head when facing the zombies and specifically instruct the others to do the same, even claiming that only headshots work. In the games, this isn't true. While torso shots will bring a zombie down eventually, it's a waste of ammo when compared to an instant-kill headshot.
  • Badass Pacifist: Claire, as mentioned above, chose to take a role of rescuer and healer after the events of Code: Veronica. This doesn't stop her from kicking zombie ass when she's put into a corner, though.
  • Call-Back: Leon and Claire meet up in nearly the same way as they first met (a zombie chases Claire, Leon tells Claire to "get down", and then shoots it in the head).
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Angela is arguably a deconstruction of this, as she places her teammates in danger several times by blindly running off to do something heroic, most notably when she runs off to investigate what Leon warns her is the sound of zombies, thinking it might be an injured human being. She even notes she accidentally got some of her teammates injured in a foolhardy attempt to save someone from a river before the events of the movie.
  • C-List Fodder: Averted. Among the survivors in the airport, there are the senator's male secretary, and a female airport employee. Neither character is given a name and each speaks only a few lines, which would normally be signs of them having "Zombie Chow" tattooed on their foreheads, but both of them manage to survive the airport outbreak.
  • Continuity Nod: At one point, Claire uses an umbrella as a weapon. Though she never opens it, it's clearly patterned after the Umbrella logo. She even lampshades it. Also, she is reunited with Leon after he rescues her in the exact same manner that he did in Resident Evil 2.
  • Deadline News: The reporter at the airport ends up as a spectacularly moronic example.
  • Dirty Coward: Senator Davis cares only for himself, and if surviving means putting the lives of the other members of the group in danger then so be it. To add insult to injury, it works. He survives the zombie outbreak, but not Tricell's cleanup operation.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Justified when Angela gets the drop on Frederic Downing and intentionally scares him by pulling the trigger when her gun was empty. She racked the action to eject the live round in the chamber. This is parodied in the outtakes.
  • Dull Surprise: Leon gets hit with this hard.
  • Evil Brit: Played With regarding Frederick. He seems nice at first, only to be revealed to be working for WilPharma. Then it's subverted when it's revealed that WilPharma were actually working on a vaccine to cure the virus. Then it's double subverted when it turns out he was lying and was responsible for the virus outbreak after all.
  • Faux Action Girl: Angela.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: A rather blatant example when bullets fired by Marines patter off the ground near their target in standard trope fashion. While said target was standing still. And (being the Body Horror Final Boss) has a center of mass about seven feet up. Even if the Marines are missing at that range, why are their bullets hitting the ground?
  • Gag Reel: A pseudo-"The Abridged Series" special feature with a few Gag Dubed scenes.
  • His Story Repeats Itself: Like in Resident Evil 2's A-Scenario, Leon once again finds himself holding the hand of a Love Interest, her life literally in his hand. This time, though, he manages to save her.
  • Immune to Bullets: G-Curtis starts to No-Sell the full auto fire of the Marines. Subverted later on, with Leon managing to stun him with a headshot.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Leon during the escape sequence in the lobby can take out zombies dozens of meters away with clear headshots armed only with his handgun, which doesn't have a scope. Then again, this is Leon we're talking about, so it kinda comes with the package.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: To contain a viral outbreak (consisting of one person infected with the G-virus and a handful of zombies), an entire research facility self-destructs in the most needlessly elaborate way possible — by dropping, section by section, into an enormously deep shaft and then being incinerated.
  • The Load: Senator Davis is easily one of the most blatant examples in the entire franchise. He has to be physically carried by others during the escape from the airport, slowing the group down. Made worse when, as soon as he sees a chance (and nearly getting Rani killed in the process), he makes it outside all by himself just fine.
  • Made of Iron: Leon. He gets smacked dozens of metres through the air by a G-virus mutant, smashes into a block of metal, and is still able to get up afterwards and pull off Le Parkour sequence with no hassle.
  • Mama Bear: Claire to Rani.
  • Man Behind the Man: It appears Senator Davis might be responsible for the biohazard outbreaks after all. He's not. It's Frederick.
  • Meaningful Echo: "If you don't try to save one life, you will never save any."
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Claire's reaction when she learns that Terra Save's actions have delayed distribution of the T-virus vaccine.
  • No Name Given:
    • Rani's aunt is never named, and is only referred to as "Aunt" in the credits.
    • The senator's secretary and the hostess of the airport's VIP lounge, despite being part of the group of survivors, are not given names either.
  • Not a Zombie: Happens a few times.
    • First, the police chief threatens to arrest the first zombie to appear, allowing it to get into range before it latches onto his throat. Somewhat justified, as he had just arrested a Terra Save protester in a zombie costume and thus had reason to believe it was another idiot. Senator Davis' bodyguard continues to treat it as if it's a human, even after Claire warns him, and is eaten for it.
    • Later, despite having just been told about the zombies, and being warned by Leon that the moan she's just heard is a classic sound of the zombies, Angela runs off and, finding an apparently injured man on the ground, hoists him over her shoulders; only Leon's intervention saves her from getting her face bitten off. Even then, she still warns a zombie to back away, then aims downwards and shoots her in the leg, to no practical effect.
    • Then there's Greg, who avoids the "deliberately shoot non-vital areas" and "try to order the zombie back" flaws, but wastes his ammo on a "spray and pray" fighting style, which ends up inflicting minimal casualties and almost gets him killed when one of the zombies he had shot up breaks through a window and grapples him to the ground.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Unusual, considering zombies are always used to refer the walking dead in-universe. Leon calls them "the dead", and everyone else calls them "those things".
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Averted; while it isn't made clear if the bomb that destroyed Raccoon City was nuclear or not, a reporter mentions that it's rumoured to be such.
  • Le Parkour: Leon does an incredible parkour sequence near the end of the movie to escape a Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Senator Davis is convinced to disguise himself in order to pass through the airport undetected by Terra Save protesters. His disguise is... a baseball cap. A little girl instantly sees through it!
  • Red Shirt Army: The Marines fighting G-Curtis. After initially knocking him down, they get torn apart with ease.
  • Red Shirt Reporter: One of the first casualties is one of these.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Davis' assistant.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The finale gives us the mind-boggling containment system in the WilPharma facility, which includes: spraying everything with flammable liquid, detaching contaminated sections, dropping them in a 3000 foot shaft (in sequence no less), incinerating them in a giant fireball (twice), and sealing them behind a steel covering thick enough to withstand a nuclear blast. How the hell did they have any funds left for medical research? In all fairness, Umbrella's shown how piss-poor containment protocols hold up against zombie monsters, so overkill might be a bit justified. WilPharma may actually be the most efficient corporation in the history of the franchise when it comes to keeping things from biting them in the ass.
  • Semper Fi: The Marines is brought in to contain the airport outbreak. Though sadly, they don't stand a chance against the mutated Curtis.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending shows Tricell doing the clean-up of the WilPharma site.
  • Shout-Out: Many, to both Resident Evil 2 and to Resident Evil 4.
  • The Stoic: Leon, who never speaks in anything but a monotone, has almost no facial expression whatsoever, and whose emotional range varies between "..." and "....." He even loses the psuedo-Deadpan Snarker wisecracks and Large Ham tendancies from Resident Evil 4.
  • The Stinger: In the ruins of the WilPharma facility, a cleanup agent in a biohazard suit finds a part of the late mutated Curtis, picks it up, and stores it in a container.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The WilPharma facility's Self-Destruct Mechanism. In all fairness, it actually takes the full sequence to kill the mutated Curtis, so it's closer to Crazy-Prepared than overkill.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Angela and Greg both make rookie mistakes common to the "police/military official meets zombie" scenario, despite the presence and warning of Leon. And unlike every other scenario where this happens, zombies are not some previously unseen phenomenon; their existence has been common knowledge for years by the time the movie takes place. While they weren't sure it was a T-virus to begin with, and knowledge about what really happened in Raccoon City is a little shakey at best, they still had Leon with them, and he gave them the lowdown on what to expect. While Angela simply settles with telling a zombie to stop and then kneecapping it when it doesn't listen, Greg decides to go Grade-A Gung-ho dumbass, entering the room and spraying everything in sight like the idiot he is. He's even surprised when one of the zombies, absolutely unaffected by his tactics, jumps at him and nearly takes a chunk out of him.
    • The television reporter at the zombie-infested airport takes this Up to Eleven when her cameraman looks past her and runs off. The obvious implication here being that extreme danger is heading their way, but her reaction to this is a confused "Why'd you stop filming?!" Cue a hungry zombie showing up behind her.
    • Some of the Marines can be considered this, due to their battle plan against G-Curtis consisting of "shoot him" and "shoot him some more," even though he's obviously shrugging all the bullets off. By the time they consider switching over to their grenade attachments he's already cutting through them.
    • Averted with two of the civilians at the airport, namely Senator Davis's secretary and the airport's VIP lounge hostess. They are civilians with no weapons and no kind of training whatsoever, but they survive the airport outbreak unscathed, mostly because they pretty much followed every instruction to the letter, sticking close to the group and avoiding zombies.
  • Underwater Kiss: From Leon to Angela, as she apparently needed the air more than him. A rather big Ship Tease moment.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Curtis. He caused an outbreak to pressure WilPharma into revealing the truth behind the Raccoon City disaster as he wished for the tragedy to never be repeated.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Claire saying she needs some type of weapon cuts to the best she could find is a red and white brolly. Yeah, as in Umbrella. She even lampshades this.
    Never saw this coming...
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Curtis lost most of his family to the Raccoon City disaster, so he was extremely determined to ensure that said disaster is never repeated, even if the method of not repeating the disaster is causing an outbreak of the T-virus at an airport and the WilPharma facility, and then injecting himself with the G-virus as a means to force the government and WilPharma into revealing the truth.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A surprisingly small one. The airport outbreak is small and easily contained, and while there's one when Claire is escaping the WilPharma facility, the rest of the movie focuses more on Leon and Angela escaping the mutated Curtis. It speaks to either the Lowered Monster Difficulty of the zombies or Claire's own badassedness that the zombies running around WilPharma are barely an afterthought for her even though she's already visibly injured and heads off on her own.