JAPAN 2010 Directed & Written by: Keiji Inafune Video Game by: Keiji Inafune Produced by: Keiji Inafune Cast: Hiroki Yoshida, Hiroshi Yazaki, Hiroyuki Onoue, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
I am not sure if it’s an experiment, or another sign of the times, or just plain nonsense, but DEAD RISING: THE MOVIE is very different from your average video game adaptation made in Hollywood. In fact, it’s as close to being a video game as possible: if one day they can render humans and worlds a truly 100% accurate, video games might very well look just like DEAD RISING.
The movie is set in an alternative reality divided into two areas, one that is affected by outbreaks, and one that isn’t. Two brothers, George and Shin, are planning to escape, and what follows is what usually follows.
The team originally designing Capcom’s DEAD RISING game now also helms the movie: for better or worse, the movie appears fully integrated into the Capcom universe – more a sequel to the games, or a chapter connecting two parts of the game, DEAD RISING: THE MOVIE plays its role in the series and you can’t help but wonder which is the game and which is the movie.
Looking at DEAD RISING strictly from the point of view of movie making, it falls short of delivering anything we haven’t seen yet: DEAD RISING is a low-budget zombie flick, not only lacking budget, but most of all the finesse of other genre entries, the brains of the Romero flicks or the boobs of many of its Japanese peers. So yes, it seamlessly blends into the DEAD RISING universe, but no, it doesn’t stand out as a movie.
It’s a film obviously made for DEAD RISING fans, and as such it may be less an experiment than the future of a multi-channel strategy of digital content, or content in general. In twenty years from now (or earlier, I am afraid) the kids out there wouldn’t ask questions anymore, wouldn’t wonder why a video game doesn’t always work as a film, or why a book is hard to adapt to the screen, or why an action movie doesn’t necessarily make for a great ego-shooter, and so forth. They most probably will start asking questions only as soon as a content is not available across all media; like, why isn’t there a DEAD RISING movie, why isn’t there a DEAD RISING animation series, why isn’t there a DEAD RISING novel etc.
Movie fans don’t need DEAD RISING: THE MOVIE. DEAD RISING fans will be waiting for it. Maybe that’s the last time we see this kind of great divide.
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