HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Dead Rising: Endgame
HTS Overall Score:72
Video game adaptations are hit or miss. We’ve got some long standing ones like the “Resident Evil” franchise, but there are countless others that have been based off a game that just fall into oblivion (“Tekken”, “Dead or Alive” the list goes on). I’m a huge fan of the “Dead Rising” video games, and have played like crazy ever since they came on the scene. There’s nothing like brutal zombie games mixed with cheeky off the wall humor and dystopian future thrown in to round things out. Not to mention the fact that you get to construct your own weapons throughout the game and there are some FUN combinations. Nothing better than sitting down with a cold one of your particular choice after a long hard day and makes some zombies splatter.
I actually COMPLETELY forgot that I had watched the very mediocre “Dead Rising: Watchtower” last year when it came out until I started watching “Endgame”. I guess that tell you how memorable “Watchtower” really was. “Endgame” sort of continues the story with the same lead character of investigative journalist Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) and the continuing story of the Zombrex issues. The problem is, “Dead Rising: Endgame” is NOTHING like the video games. The games were fun, charming and overly violent. “Endgame” just takes the Zombrex names and slaps Chase Carter into the middle of things and shows a few zombie brains being bashed in from time to time. Sure we get to see the weapon creation like the video game allows, but that’s a good 45-50 minutes into the film and the previous 45+ minutes were just jumbled exposition and the “Are you in good hands”? Allstate guy (yes I know his name is Dennis Haysbert, but that’s how I remember him these days) hamming it up as the stone faced military General Lyons. Past that, it’s just using the Zombrex name and a few locations while trying to make a warmed over zombie movie for the DTV market.
To make things short and sweet. Chase Carter is still reeling from the loss of his old journalistic partner Jordan (Keegan Connor Tracy) who was presumed dead during a failed assignment. Now he’s onto something new with the help of a few friends. Z-town is being slowly taken over by the zombies and it looks like General Lyons is doing some shady things to come up with a cure. Carter has tracked an illegal smuggling ring of human survivors to Lyons but he gets blocked whenever he tries to run the story. Now the only way that he can get the information he needs is to go to the source of the experiments and find out just what exactly Lyons is doing at the secret lab facility he runs. That is if they can make it through the hordes of zombies who are trying to crunch and munch anyone who gets in their way.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85930[/img]It really feels like writers Tim Carter and Michael Ferris weren’t even trying here. There is almost no relation to the original games that Marvel created, and while I can forgive a lack of faithfulness to the source material (It’s not like the “Resident Evil” movies are that faithful to the games), I can’t forgive a lack of FUN in a movie. “Dead Rising: Endgame” is really just your average warmed over zombie storyline mixed together with B level acting (C level at some points) and SyFy channel level budget. I was literally wincing at the line delivery of most of the characters throughout the movie and even little cameos by Victor Webster (who plays Chuck in “Dead Rising 2”) and Billy Zane are lost on the average viewer unless you REALLY know your Dead Rising characters.
I’d have to say that “Dead Rising: Endgame” is a giant case of marketing mismanagement. It advertises a Dead Rising movie, but the only thing remotely “Dead Rising” about the movie is Chase’s buddy playing “Dead Rising 3” on his TV when they come by to ask him for help. Besides that and the Zombrex name the movie itself is just a generic zombie flick that would pass for your average Saturday night SyFy movie if you didn’t know better. I really wanted the movie to be better than it was being how much I loved the games, but sometimes it’s just better to cut your losses and run.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85938[/img]If the movie wasn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, the video encode should be able to satisfy the home theater junkies. Shot digitally “Dead Rising: Endgame” is a sharp and clean looking transfer for sure. Colors are fairly vibrant and pop in the grey and lightly desaturated post-apocalyptic landscape. A contrast which is surprising considering I would have expected them to desaturate not just the landscape of the dilapidated city but everything around them. Instead we have strong blacks, blues and even reds from time to time pop up in the clothing of Chase and his cadre of zombie smashers. Red blood is decidedly CGI and the rest of the effects are kind of on the “Syfy Channel” level of budgeting (just watch the final explosion at the end. It looks like someone did the effects on a 2000 era PC running windows XP). Fine detail is quite impressive throughout, and while there was some digital noise in the really dark sequences, there was never any major artifacting to speak of.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85946[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix is quite satisfactory, but really nothing MORE than satisfactory. You can definitely tell the movie was shot on a budget, as the soundstage is fairly front heavy and light on the LFE channel. The front three speakers get a healthy amount of activity with the zombie battles, but the surrounds tend to be a lighter and less active than expected. There’s still a few good spots where the whole system is working in tandem, especially in the underground assault on Lyon’s experimental lab. The LFE is a bit restrained, but it is certainly there. It just adds a less aggressive amount of bass to the mix than most action movies. The score uses a goodly portion of the low end and keeps it kicking throughout, and the blast from weaponry carries enough weight to justify the use of the subs.
• Eight Featurettes:
- Bringing Zombies to "Life"
- From Game to Screen
- Making the Weapons
- Who is Chase Carter?
- Who is Jill Ekland?
- Who Is Jordan Blair?
- Who is Sandra Lowe?
“Dead Rising: Endgame” looked like a fun little zombie flick based upon one of Marvel’s more successful video game franchise, but they say the proof is in the pudding, and this pudding is kind of rotten. I honestly can say that I wasn’t even mildly entertaining the entire 96 minutes of short run time that we had. There were a few “ahhhh, that was a nod to the game” moments here and there, but other than those little flickers in an otherwise dim movie, there wasn’t a whole lot of meat to chew on. Audio was solid, but very much a B-level film mix, but the digital photography for the Blu-ray disc was exemplary. Personally, unless you’re a huge fan of the games and MUST watch anything related to them, I would just skip “Dead Rising: Endgame” and just go play a few hours on your console to satiate the desire. Skip it.
Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Keegan Connor Tracy, Jessica Harmon
Directed by: Pat Williams
Written by: Tim Carter, Michael Ferris
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th 2016
Buy Dead Rising: Endgame On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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