[REVIEW] Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015) – ManlyMovie

[REVIEW] Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015)


Runtime: 107 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Another poor video game movie, tries too hard to be accurate at the price of being interesting

I was never much into those Dead Rising games myself.  The comedy and weapons gimmick just didn’t do it for me.  To me, real zombie games began with Resident Evil in 1996 and ended with Resident Evil Zero in the early ’00s.  It’s sad that we never got a real Resident Evil movie instead of the dogshit (including the first one too) that Paul W.S. Anderson puts out.  Which ironic because Anderson pulled off possibly the best video game adaptation for movies ever, with Mortal Kombat.  Anyway, Dead Rising: Watchtower does not buck the trend of weak video game movies.  I don’t know if I could even recommend it to hardcore fans of the game.

The movie is actually quite faithful to the source material.  It’s actually set between the events of Dead Rising 2 and 3.  And of course those stories followed a zombie out break at a shopping mall, where a vaccine called ‘Zombrex’ followed.  In this movie reporter Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) is on the scene in a zone infested with zombies.  Naturally all hells breaks loose and to cover the mayhem ‘media break’ style humorous news commentary separates the horror and action.

I couldn’t dig this movie.  Firstly it looks cheap as shit, which I can forgive, but it adds to the troubles in tone.  One minute the movie is World War Z, death, doom, hell.  The next its  black humour, which by the way, isn’t funny at all.  And the movie can’t blend this type of contrast, it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a comedy or a horror.  They should have picked one angle and went with it.  It’s another zombie feature that once again can’t recreate the claustrophobic stench of doom that George Romero is such a master of.  I get a feeling that that problem came about through an attempt to stay true to the source material.  It works on some levels in that regard, the improvised weapons fights are mildly amusing, with no shaking camera, but let down by suspect CGI.

I can’t see how hardcore fans will be won over by nodding gestures against a backdrop of mediocrity at best.  They should’ve removed 15 minutes from the runtime and cut out the crappy comedy.  At least Meghan Ory looks hot, even playing a half dead hybrid zombie.