I’ll confess the Dead Rising franchise is near and dear to me, since I logged numerous hrs playing around the Willamette Parkview Mall having a katana along with a “protective” horse-mind mask. Boasting insane contraptions, hordes of ferocious zombies, and psychopathic boss battles, the initial game features enough motion picture fodder to string together its very own crazy animated feature, but the idea of an active-action Dead Rising movie still packed a thrilling
Unlike the games, Watchtower follows the exploits of the youthful internet journalist named Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe). Frank West (Take advantage of Riggle) is part of the chaos, but he watches like a zombie quarantine goes horribly awry make up the safety of the television news room. Chase is the one that finds themself caught within the action, like a new Zombrex-proof virus strain traps the infected in a East Mission quarantine zone with lots of afraid survivors. Helped by a lady badass named Crystal O’Rourke (Meghan Ory), Chase tries to uncover what is a devastating governmental conspiracy as the zombie body-count keeps growing.
All of the Dead Rising staples make a look and feel here – customizable tool-shed weaponry, Frank West, recognizable storefronts, Servbot heads, insane looters, as well as Adam the Clown! Well, Bonzo the Clown, technically, but nonetheless! Essentially, Dead Rising: Watchtower hits on all of the right notes designed to service hardcore gamers who have a very good understanding of Capcom’s zombie world. Individuals who pay attention might pick upon a couple of more hidden Easter time Eggs on the way, just like a zombie who’s outfitted as motocross champion Chuck Greene from Dead Rising 2, but may these tasty tidbits seem like they’re put into plain view only for nostalgia’s sake.
Where Dead Rising seems like an immersive gaming experience filled with colorful zombie nods, immense creative freedoms, along with a wonderfully detailed world, Dead Rising: Watchtower runs along a really generic path. Apart from some hybrid weaponry (Crystal’s sword/shovel or Chase’s sledgehammer/bonesaw) along with a rogue pack of anarchy-loving bikers, Tim Carter’s script doesn’t showcase the madcap energy found through the game’s engrossing storyline. Chase never appears to maintain much danger when staying away from his sluggish, undead attackers, and when night befalls East Mission, the zombies don’t enter their usual berserker mode like hanging around. CGI gore pollutes entire action sequences with pixelated bloodstream streaks, Frank West is switched right into a celebrity douche-nozzle who only worries about selling his new book, and survivor interactions come at least. While Watchtower might be full of franchise nods, the film’s driving story barely meets the Dead Rising name.
Much more disappointing would be the performances and tone, neither which funnel the zany figures that Frank West and company communicate with throughout the games. Jesse Metcalfe’s leading hunk is tolerable in many doses, as Chase looks after a strong concentrate on satirically traversing today’s dirty realm of online reporting, and Meghan Ory is charming enough like a Zombrex patient fighting on her existence, however the tolerable “praise” really stops there. Dennis Haysbert can be used just for his deep, bellowing voice, the writing “Rob Riggles” the hell from Frank West, and poor Virginia Madsen seems to be autopilot whole time. According to spoilers, Madsen’s maternal arc should really possess a driving emotionality, yet she is removed as stiff like a board in many situations (happy/existence-threatening/sorrowful). A drably straight tone saturates the whole production, sucking in supporting actors like Keegan Connor Tracy, while Chase’s exploits mimic a soapy horror drama rather of the playful sandbox full of undead corpses.
Dead Rising: Watchtower sticks to some more focused script, opting just for several power-hungry biker villains brought with a self-hired God named Logan (Aleks Paunovic). It’s a good decision, because including numerous lunatics from the Willamette Mall alone might know of being an overload, and also the film runs like a companion piece that can take place throughout the occasions of Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3 – however, you can’t help longing for a little more individuality.
The recording game franchise is ripe with figures (hillbilly gun-nuts, cannibal butchers, loner arsonists, bondage-putting on-virgins, ect.), yet only Frank West will get a motion picture reincarnation. Logan’s biker squad aren't anything but overused dystopian looters you've seen again and again, similar to a toned-lower form of the Mad Max inspired machine-heads from Doomsday. I’ll admit that points are granted for casting Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein like a BBQ-lovin’ madman – but individuals points are washed out for giving him almost zero screen time. Dead Rising is full of figures who're pleading to become grindhouse movie legends, yet not one of them find their distance to East Mission.
A minimum of director Zach Lipovsky shows a directorial growth from Leprechaun: Origins, which will come like a positive takeaway. He shows a much better knowledge of what succeeds in horror, and executes some pretty rad slayings when functionality and chainsaws combine. There’s one particularly gratifying lengthy-take where Chase runs around a zombie-infested street, smashing skulls one at a time, but many other climaxes feel a little cheap compared. It’s apparent that figures aren’t really striking the zombies, which publish-production tries to fix with shoddy animation, and Lipovsky utilizes weird POV shots from the business-finish of whatever weapon is inflicting damage upon rotting flesh. These views will always be static and grainy, just like a cheap-grade Go Pro, and add nothing memorable to choreographed fight sequences that otherwise are shot on the crisper degree of brutality.
There’s ambition in Dead Rising: Watchtower, but it’s hidden under self-serving references, heavy-handed governmental jabs, some harsh visual representations, along with a bland tone that does not quite capture what Capcom’s franchise is about. Dead Rising is a present to zombie enthusiasts, giving us the opportunity to walk around the heads of mall-polluting zombies or slap a traffic cone on a single for any good laugh, nevertheless its companion film is simply a generic extension from the zombie genre that does not recapture that same gleeful spark.
*Half a star was awarded exclusively in line with the Soska siblings cameo. OK, not necessarily, but they friggin’ rock.