8 July 2015 | quincytheodore
Campy and absurd from combining too many imbalanced aspects, though it presents some of the game's quirky amusements.
Dead Rising games don't exactly have the most serious adventure or horror story. After all, this is the franchise that has the idea of strapping battery into wheelchair to make an electric battering ram. It operates in this often ludicrous logic, although it also tries to shoehorn a cumbersome amount of narrative and plods the pace in result.
The story follows Chase, an ambitious reporter who is taping in the medical center aid. Zombrex, a medicine to stop zombification, is introduced and administered in this downtown site. Unfortunately, accident occurs and Chase finds himself scrambling to survive and get the word out. It does resemble the set-up of the games as one person is trapped in large setting.
There are multitudes of problem in writing. It may mimic the appearance, but the script is tumbling between comically ridiculous and over-the-top misplaced drama. At one point, it adds military propaganda which contradicts the supposed quirky style. The game itself doesn't venture too much into thriller and this is a movie where it opens with clown zombie, so the drama feels very detached.
Acting is a miss most of the time. There's barely any character worth rooting for as they are either firmly one dimensional or simply annoying. The original hero Frank West is relegated to a crude talk show, but then the movie introduces Dennis Haysbert, a veteran actor to build conspiracy subplot. It's as though the movie takes the combining gimmick from the game too literal and throws tons of ideas to what sticks.
Thankfully, the action is pleasantly done. Cinematography is good, definitely better than most game inspired movie. It often creates fine spectacle, especially in one particular continuous shot. Practical effect and CGI work better than expected as well, delivering dismemberment and bloody scenes with fine commitment. There's more effort invested on the violence than anything, which is fan pleasing, at the very least.
With a stuttering pace and two hours runtime, the movie does feel bloated. However, for fans of horror or the game, there is plenty of gleeful and numbing carnage here.