Dead Rising: Watchtower – 3 out of 5
I absolutely love the second game in the Dead Rising franchise. The first one works as a concept for me but clunky controls and piss-poor hit detection made me loath the game. I pretty much invented new swear words after I would get hit by things that were nowhere near me. However, the second game really hit all the right notes for me and I ended up playing through the story about 4 or 5 times. I just couldn’t get enough of it. So, when I saw Crackle was going to have an adaptation that takes place after the second game but before the third that came out for the latest next gen systems, I was cautiously optimistic. It looked like it had the spirit of the games but I also had to remember that video game adaptations are, almost by definition right now thanks to guys like Uwe Boll, just absolutely horrendous and barely resemble the source material. That being said, Dead Rising: Watchtower isn’t as bad as it probably had the real danger of ending up as.
|Dude, don't be so dramatic, you're just being chased by the undead.|
|Of course there is a clown zombie...or is it zombie|
|The Army's motive? To see everyone get Allstate.|
For the most part, Dead Rising: Watchtower isn’t too bad of a film. It starts promising enough and has a little bit of fun with itself. Heck, the strongest thing this film has going for it is the fact that the film really feels like a lot of it was lifted from the games directly as it is constantly throwing in nods and winks and references. One of my favorite aspects was how the film would cut to a news report that was following the events and they had a guest in the form of Frank West, star of the first game and played by the always funny Rob Riggle (even though I always thought West looked more he would be played by Michael Madsen because the character looked so much like him—but since they already got one Madsen it would have been silly to go for another. The Madsens aren’t Pokémon!). Riggle really was having some fun with the character and these sequences were a nice break from any potential zombie overload and it kept the film from getting too serious…for the most part, I should say.
|I'd watch a whole movie that's all about Rob Riggle as Frank West.|
One of the aspects that hurts the overall film, beyond its very low budget and a run time that felt a little too low (maybe Crackle's constant commercial breaks too, but they gots to pay the bills somehow, so I won't complain), was the fact that the longer the film went and the deeper it went into its story the more serious the film took itself. Now, granted, Dead Rising: Watchtower couldn’t be a straight dark comedy and it couldn’t be a straight action-horror feature either because it just wouldn't work as one or the other, it had to be a mix. The film needed a little bit of drama and the story needed some conflict and a bit of insidious behavior from some of the antagonists for the film to work. The games, in my opinion, did a great job of having both the silliness and the serious but movies don’t always work the same. A game can suddenly stop the fun and throw in drama and can make it work because you are invested at a deeper level due to the amount of time spent on playing—movies don’t have that luxury and have to go other routes.
|Hey Meghan Ory, why did you suddenly disappear from Once Upon a Time?|
|And speaking about Once Upon a Time, the Blue Fairy is also in this movie.|
Yes, I watch OUaT.
|In case you are wondering, yes, the characters are|
vividly and dynamically written...and yes, I'm
|You combined a sword with a shovel?!? You ruined two perfectly good zombie|
killing weapons and made one worthless and unwieldy weapon.
Dead Rising: Watchtower is serviceable and decently entertaining but it does come off like a generic low-budget zombie film in a gigantic sea overflowing with generic low-budget zombie films. It gets to stand out slightly due to the fact it is based on a popular video game (and is actually one of the better adaptations of a game in the last 15 years) and for Rob Riggle’s performance but the rest of it kinda flounders in its cheesy passibleness (which it totes a word). The film is never outright awful and I admittedly found it pretty fun at times but the film spent too much of its time making its nods and winks to the game and taking itself too seriously at the end and not enough time to make itself stand out. Weak acting and low production value can be overlooked if there’s something to look at. I know that sounds harsh and it makes it sound like I hated the film but, in the end, I found it average and decently entertaining.
|There's always one zombie dressed like this. Her mother warned her about possibly|
being bit while going out dressed like that.