Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dead Rising: Endgame

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! The biggest crime of this film is the fact Rob Riggle didn't come back.

Dead Rising:  Endgame – 2 out of 5

While I didn’t care for the first game in the Dead Rising game franchise, I was a super fan of the 2nd game and have played through it and beaten it at least 3 or 4 times (maybe even more).  When I saw they adapted the franchise into a film for Crackle, I was pretty excited and, if you saw my review of it, I was fairly happy with the end results.  While Dead Rising:  Watchtower wasn’t perfect, it was still a fun film that definitely captured the spirit of the game at times.  I literally had no idea that a sequel was made and it kinda snuck up on me.  Can Dead Rising:  Endgame live up to the fun I had with the first one or is this just another one for the pile of bad video game movies?

Okay, I think you're great in your role, Jesse Metcalfe, but I really wanted
to see Rob Riggle come back for this one.

Zombie-killing hero Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) is back and he discovers that deep within the zombie quarantine zone is the heart of a conspiracy that could kill millions.  Chase teams up with his infected girlfriend; Sandra (Marie Avgeropoulos), and a corporate whistle blower named George Hancock (Ian Tracey) who is responsible for compelling Chase to undergo this dangerous mission into the infected zone.  However, Chase soon learns that there’s more to this conspiracy and that someone he once thought was lost to him may still be in the quarantine zone.

"Quick pose for our hardcore album cover and then we'll get down to the
business of this conspiracy..."

The sad reality that was quickly realize about this sequel is the fact that it does not have the same tone of the first feature.  While this may be explained by having a new director, it’s inescapable and very noticeable that this film doesn’t want to be as light-hearted as the funnier moments of the last movie and it is taking itself way, way, WAY too seriously.  This was also seen in the first film as the longer the story went the more serious the story took itself but this one pretty much started out too seriously and never leaves that plane of existence.  The story quickly buries itself in this conspiracy plot and the film seemingly forgets what made this game franchise what it is:  Brutal zombie action.  In the first 40 minutes, there is literally only two moments that involved zombies and they were both bland and very forgettable.  In fact, even when the zombies start playing an actual part in the unfolding story, there is only a single sequence that was even remotely interesting or even deserving of the Dead Rising name—and that scene came in towards the end.  It really made for a disappointing time.

The rest of the film doesn’t really feel like it is doing much to really stand out or even try to recapture the fun of the first one as the zombie make-up is really cheap and most of the zombies look like they are wearing cheap Halloween store masks (I think I even saw the edges of one mask come off a zombie at one point), the zombie kills (with the exception of the single sequence I mentioned earlier) were pretty “meh,” and the story has no sense of urgency, tension or any semblance of a threat (which is pretty bad considering the story centers on a conspiracy that involves a countdown to kill millions of people).  Things get even worse due to new characters being lazily introduced (including a cameo from the protagonist from the 2nd game) and the returning characters barely getting any development at all and, finally, the ending is stupidly anticlimactic.  It was the kind of ending where I found myself literally saying out loud, "Wait, that's it?  Really?"

This is the best looking zombie effects in the whole film.  I'm guessing that's
where the entire budget went.

On the bright side, Jesse Metcalfe is still doing a great job as Chase, Dennis Haysbert returns as Gen. Lyons and doing a great job and, even better, Ian Tracey (a stupidly talented actor who I wish would be better known to the public and have his star upped a few notches) joins the cast and is clearly outshining everyone in the cast.  Sadly, thought, this element and the single badass zombie killing montage that Chase has towards the end of the films is really the only redeeming factors that this sequel has and it is just not enough to save this lame duck of a sequel.

There's also a surprise cameo by the man on the left.  Can you guess or
look up on IMDb who he is?

After watching the first film, I have to say that I didn’t hate the concept of a sequel to it.  In fact, with a bigger budget, this one could have fixed all the issues that one had (and if it centered entirely on Rob Riggle’s portrayal of Frank West, it would have infinitely improved it and probably actually been one of those sequels that is better than the first).  Unlike the first one, this one just doesn’t have the entertainment value that was needed to make this one even serviceable.  Even with its problems, there was an underlying entertainment to that one but Dead Rising:  Endgame just takes all the stuff that didn’t work in Watchtower and focused on making an entire film that highlighted those elements.

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