Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness – Breaking down Season 1
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness‘ review can be summed up in two words – “it’s okay”.
I think this is the most succinct way to describe it as someone who has played the games and watched the original movies (all the way through to…clone Alice super Saiyan mode?). Compared to whatever that was, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a masterpiece of cinematic vision but we are here to review the series on its merits and what it does well and doesn’t.
We’ve already been through the plot in our last article so please do check that out. In short, the series is worth a quick watch if you have nothing else to do, it’s 4 episodes at about 20+ minutes each. Quick watch, in and out, see some zombie people, rats, some nice action set pieces, and a plot twist coming a mile away. The animation at parts can be quite patchy especially when there is a lot of action happening on screen. However, when things slow down a little, the animation is passable.
If you’ve watched the series and want to know more. Or don’t want to watch the TV series but are interested to see how it panned out then this spoiled-filled review is for you!
– – – SPOILERS AHEAD – – –
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkenss Story Breakdown
The story for Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is told through a series of flashbacks as we follow the main plot. Leon Kennedy, “The Hero of Penamstan” Jason and Shen Mei as they are sent to investigate a mysterious hacking at the White House. This adventure immediately goes awry as they go onto a submarine bound for China and are attacked by zombie rats!
What I’m going to do here is break this all down chronologically to tell the story from beginning to end.
#1. The Penamstan Incident
At the very beginning of Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, we see a helicopter go down which prompts Jason who is the lead of Mad Dogs to request that they go after that. Back at HQ, General Wilson (who will become the Secretary of Defense) orders the Mad Dogs to stand down and not pursue the fallen copter. Shen Mei who is on comms at the time is the one relaying these orders to Jason.
Which he of course disregards.
Instead, Jason and the team search for the lost chopper. There’s unfortunately only one survivor, Jun See, who is Shen Mei’s younger brother. The rest of Jun See’s platoon has already been killed and lynched. However, unbeknownst to the Penamstians, Jun See’s whole crew has been infected by an offshoot of the T-Virus. Including Jun See.
The dead crew continue to wreak havoc in Penamstan. They even manage to bite every single one of the Mad Dogs in an abandoned apartment that they are defending.
While all this is happening, a young boy who has witnessed the zombie transformation is now scarred forever. This plays out later because he’s found by Claire Redfield. Mute with fear he can only draw renditions of all he sees.
#2. Jun See
Jun See is on the verge of death and gifts the last of the “virus inhibitors” to the Mad Dogs. He dies shortly after this. Leaving Jason and the team to evacuate Penamstan with Jun See’s body. But why bring back a body that has a virus in it? I mean he was very clearly turning into a zombie when you put him in the body bag?
Meanwhile, General Wilson orders the cleansing of Penamstan and the whole place is shortly firebombed. Destroying all traces of the zombies.
Back at base, Shen Mei confronts Jason and his team, for disregarding her orders.
They reveal to her Jun See, her now zombified little bro. And for some reason, they all agree to send Jun See home without informing anyone else. I mean dude was a zombie with a potential contagious virus?? This is extremely irresponsible imo.
For their efforts and valour, General Wilson awards all the Mad Dogs with medals as well as a continuous supply of the “virus inhibitor”. Well, as long as they continue to follow his orders moving forward.
A lot of questions are immediately opened here. How did they actually escape in time from a city of zombies? Why didn’t anyone check them for any virus when they got back? Don’t we have some sort of 2-week quarantine period or something? Also, how was everybody okay with bringing an infested dead body along? If I was General Wilson I would have found a way to get rid of the evidence a lot faster than trying to cajole them all to be my lackeys.
At the same time, Jason harbours all this resentment for Wilson and becomes the main antagonist of this whole movie. BUT THEN he waits for YEARS to do something about it??
Anyway, we’ll talk more about his “plan” down the line.
#3. The White House Incident
Fast forward to the present day and there’s been a hacking incident in the White House. Who to call but Leon, Shen Mei and Jason. Because it turns out this hacking incident includes some zombies! As they’re going through the White House, the power cuts out and zombies start attacking everyone.
Of course, this was all a ploy done by Secretary of Defense Wilson. Who had unleashed the zombies on the White House forcing them all to get on a submarine bound for Beijing. Where they had traced the source of the hacking. The hacking itself was on the Penamstan incident.
Meanwhile, Claire is in Penamstan as a volunteer hoping to build shelters and homes to rebuild the devastated country. It’s here where she meets that little boy who had witnessed the zombifying.
This leads to some questions of course which can only be answered at the White House. It’s here where she bumps into Leon as they’re preparing for their mission to Beijing.
Leon’s acting mighty shifty and barely spares her a glance and immediately says “don’t do anything crazy, Claire.”
#4. The Submarine
Leon, Shen Mei and Jason are now in the submarine. And this is where things get a little weird in terms of conversation… well weirder.
Jason decides the submarine is the best time for a PTSD therapy session with Leon. This is where some red flags come up when he goes on about “the world must know fear”. Jason also tells Leon that he knows about Raccoon City and how everything was nuked and everything covered up.
Leon just nonchalantly says that’s the way it should be to stop the virus from spreading further. He then changes the subject by hitting on Shen Mei. Making the interaction awkward for everyone.
Leon then goes around the submarine and notices dead sailors and an infestation of mutated virus rats. In another scene we see Jason and Shen Mei stabbing and killing sailors that they had just saved. Leon escapes the rats and appears underneath the escape hatch of another mini-sub that Jason and Shen Mei are in. Jason and Shen Mei pull him up and they escape. But not without Jason and Shen Mei giving him some serious side-eye. The submarine then self-destructs in all its glory after the system detects the virus-rats.
Back to the intrigue on the mini-sub. Leon is starting to piece some things together. He knows that Shen Mei and Jason were had already planned to kill everyone on the boat. The incidents were just too coincidentally. Plus there was all that shifty behaviour.
He then goes ahead confronts Jason about it in Beijing. I mean it’s good he waited until they were on land, you don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone in a mini-sub. Trust me. Well, the conversation goes as expected and Leon proceeds to put two right in Jason’s chest.
I think this is where we have the biggest plot hole of the series. I mean amongst the other rather gaping plotholes.
Jason and Shen Mei clearly had no qualms killing everyone on that sub. So why not kill Leon as well? The submarine was going to self destruct and they could easily chalk his death as a casualty. No one would really question it except maybe Claire.
We find out later that this submarine exercise came from Secretary Wilson so that he can blame it on the Chinese, to force President Graham to take a more hardcore stance against China. Which would in turn allow Wilson to peddle more of his virus and inhibitors that create super soldiers.
#6. The Mansion Blow Up
Shen Mei escapes the apartment with her life and runs to her family mansion. Where we find out that her grandfather has been keeping Jun See “alive” hooked up to different machines. As a zombie, he can’t really move anymore and has grown some crystal things on his face and can make some moaning sounds. But that’s about it.
Leon has tracked Shen Mei and asks her to spill what’s been going on and she tells the whole story. That she’s been working with Jason to tell the world about zombies. She also reveals that she has Jun See’s chip that has recorded all his vitals during the Penamstan missions that they can use.
Another plot hole here…in all the years since the Penamstan incident they haven’t thought to use Jun See’s chip to “show the world” as Jason says. This whole chip thing shouldn’t have surfaced as a plotline in my opinion.
The mansion is then bombed out of nowhere and we are to assume that Jason did this because he was pissed off at being shot? Jun See, grandpa and few others are killed while Leon drags a struggling Shun Mei out of the wreckage. The good news, they managed to save the chip.
Meanwhile, Claire has been going around investigating the Mad Dogs. And finds out that every single person has committed suicide, this is very sus. In the last home she goes to investigate, she finds clues that lead her back to Secretary Wilson! Dum dum dummmm. She goes ahead to confront him about the virus and the inhibitors and everything that has happened. And of course, gets promptly knocked out for her troubles.
#7. Wilson’s Laboratory
Secretary Wilson has convinced President Graham to come out with a strong speech against China and basically “rattle the sabre” to start preparing for war. On the way to the speech, President Graham is stopped by Patrick, a rookie intelligence agent to whom Leon has told the whole plot so he can tell President Graham what’s going on. Thankfully this convinces President Graham to not declare war on China.
While this press conference is going on, Wilson has a huge lab set up right underneath with a bunch of super-soldiers. They’ve all been injected with the virus and are now being held in stasis in different vats.
Wilson goes on a long rant to justify his actions to Claire, who’s now tied up to a chair. He tries to “bribe” Claire with as many hospitals and schools as she wants in Penamstan in return for her silence. Obviously, Claire declines and Wilson tells her that she must die. This is when the immortal super soldier Jason appears. Gasp gasp. Wilson doesn’t question anything but simply tells him good job and to go ahead and kill Claire.
Jason is not into this life and immediately goes full Tyrant mode. This is not something that we were told was a side effect of this virus, but okay. He then proceeds to take a chomp of Secretary Wilson who is shocked that his mutant weapon would turn against him so easily. Not sure why he didn’t put in further failsafes but Wilson is clearly a man who likes to live dangerously. Judging from the set-up of his lab and all his operations so far. Unfortunately, Wilson manages to escape.
Jason then says he wants to show the world fear and is looking to jump right into the press conference. In the meantime, the whole lab, having now detected an outbreak of the virus in the form of Jason Nemesis proceeds to sink itself into a bunch of acid. That was just sitting below them for this very reason. The acid then begins to start melting everything, super soldiers and all.
Shen Mei now realizes that Jason really isn’t interested in “exposing” Wilson and she goes to try and confront him and make him come back to his senses. She gets a snapped arm and neck for her troubles. Bye Shen Mei.
Leon saves Claire and starts looking for ways to take out Jason. And, of course, classic time to find a rocket launcher! He uses that to knock Jason down a peg. Then for good measure drops him into boiling acid that’s conveniently all around them.
As Jason dies from the acid he warns of the time to come and that fear will grip the world eventually and that this is not the end. He will be right. Meanwhile, the press conference above goes off without a hitch and no one is concerned about the sound of missile launcher explosions or an entire building dissolving into acid below.
Claire and Leon manage to escape somehow. When they meet again Claire asks Leon for a copy of Jun See’s file, but Leon decides to keep it because he does not want to spread fear. While she’s only looking to spread the truth. Claire leaves him on a sour note and without any dinner.
In the final scene, we see Wilson getting the inhibitor to keep his mutations in check from Tricell Corporation. This is the company that worked to develop the Uroborus missiles of Resident Evil 5.
This looks like some serious foreshadowing for Season 2.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness – Final Thoughts
I’ll reiterate that Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is okay. There are some big plot holes to get through and some weird pacing and dialogue that’s happening. The structure of the flashbacks was gratuitous and they could have told the story in a more linear fashion.
Jason’s motivations were not fully explored and his crusade of “fear” was not given enough time to breathe. There was an opportunity to make Jason a more tragic character under the control of Secretary Wilson. Ultimately though for an hour-ish watch, it was not as painful as the Resident Evil live-action adaptations. Especially the last one, I mean what was that all about?
Final rating: 2.5/5