Endgame serves as a sequel to Dead Rising: Watchtower (a review of which can be read here). It brings back Chase Carter (played again by Jesse Metcalfe) as he attempts to uncover a secret government conspiracy led by General Lyons (Dennis Haysbert). Since the events of the first film Chase has been discredited & is having a hard time convincing his superiors to listen to him.
Out of the blue he is contacted by an ex-employee of pharmaceutical corporation Phenotrans, the makers of Zombrex. Zombrex is an experimental drug that victims of a zombie bite have to administer every 24 hours to stop them dying & turning into the undead.
It seems as though Lyons is planning to activate Afterlife. A chip embedded under the skin of those infected by the zombie virus. The chip automatically administers Zombrex on a regular basis. Lyon’s plan is to activate Afterlife which will administer a massive dose of Zombrex killing the person. Meaning 1.5 million people will instantly die all because the government doesn’t want the risk of an outbreak.
It’s up to Chase & his team to make their way across the zombie infested East Mission City to reach the HQ of Phenotrans & stop Afterlife being used.
The only connections between this film & the Dead Rising game series are the zombies, the use of Zombrex & a minor role for Chuck Greene (Victor Webster) the star of Dead Rising 2. It’s a sequel to a movie that wasn’t really that related to the game anyway. It doesn’t have to be, it just has to be an entertaining zombie flick & it’s not. Not by a long stretch.
Zombies…how hard is it to get this right? Endgame manages to screw them up royally by making a new version that is more like an infected rage victim from the 28 Days/Weeks Later films. It’s so disappointing & feels very unnecessary. It feels like a reaction to the Walking Dead TV shows neutering of the slow Romero zombie.
Listen, directors & writers. There is nothing wrong with the slow, shambling zombie. They can be terrifying if you take the time to make them so. A running, leaping & snarling zombie isn’t always scary, it’s stupid & actually reminds you that you’re just watching a film.
The acting is very hit & miss with Metcalfe as Chase being the standout actor. However far too many leave very little impression & there isn’t enough of Chuck to really get excited about. Billy Zane is wasted as Rand, he plays a Phenotrans scientist who was hired by the government to find a cure for the zombie infection.
The difference in filming style does make it stand out from the original though. Here every battle with the undead puts the viewer right in the action & some are fairly entertaining, gory & action packed. It’s just the bland story, uninteresting characters & lack of tension or stakes that really lets it down.
Endgame strays so far from the source material that it can barely be called a Dead Rising movie. It’s a pity as the video game universe could have seen some really interesting movie ideas!
Some may get a kick out of this but regular zombie watchers or Dead Rising fans will find very little to get excited about.
Dead Rising: Endgame