I wouldn’t call the advertising for Dead Rising: Watchtower to be a marketing blitz but there’s was definitely enough of a presence that the film’s existence was known and even had me a little excited to check out the feature when it debuted. I can’t say the same for the sequel, Dead Rising: Endgame. I saw no stories on the internet about it, no trailer, nor any annoying ads or banners on IMDb or other film-based websites. I didn’t even realized that a sequel was produced until I just so happened to open up the Crackle app on the PlayStation and saw its trailer being advertised and claiming that the film was only days away from being released. Well, I thought, I saw the first one and had some fun with it so why not check out this one?
So the conspiracy that began in the first film and was uncovered by the online reporter Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) is only getting deeper in this film. With the help of a corporate whistle blower (played by Ian Tracey), Chase runs head first into the quarantine zone to uncover the conspiracy that threatens to kill millions of people. As if surviving all the zombies in the area isn’t hard enough, it turns out that a close friend that he thought was dead is in danger in the quarantined zone and holds the key to what the military is secretly planing.
While the first film isn’t spectacular, I do admit that I had some fun with it. While it has some issues, it’s serviceable and fairly entertaining. I can’t say that about this movie. One of the biggest issues that harmed the first film, in my opinion, was how serious the story started to take itself as the running length moved forward. This time around, the film is taking itself extremely serious and it does so from the moment it begins. In Watchtower, you are treated with some fun, game-worthy moments early on before it starts to try to be a serious film but in Endgame the story abandons any semblance of trying to capture the spirit and tone of the game franchise and thinks its a deeper movie than it is or really should be. In fact, it’s kinda sad to see that there isn’t even a single moment of somewhat identifiable comedy in this movie or something that feels like it belongs in the latest addition to the Dead Rising franchise.
One of the biggest drawbacks that come from the unnecessary and overly serious story about a government conspiracy is that the zombie action and even the zombie presence in the film are nearly nil. It took nearly forty minutes before zombies had any real moments in the story and, after that, there’s only a single moment of zombie-killing action that was genuinely entertaining throughout the entire film. I am going to hazard a guess that this is because the film had an even smaller budget and that theory is only tossed out and suggested because the make-up on the zombies is painfully bad. It feels like the production is actively keeping zombies out of the film because they look awful and it would require a far better director and a goddamn wizard in the editing suite to somehow include them and not make it obvious at how bad they look. Seriously, all the zombies look like they are wearing cheap Halloween store masks.
The only real positives this movie throws out is the fact that Jesse Metcalfe is decent in his role and they also added Ian Tracey to the cast. Personally, I really enjoy Tracey as an actor. The dude is immensely talented and I highly suggest you check him out on a now defunct Canadian cop drama called Da Vinci’s Inquest. Ultimately, though, this proved to be the only good parts of the film because the rest of it is filled with forgettable action and an ending that was terribly anticlimactic. And how could you not have Rob Riggle return as Frank West?!?
This one doesn’t even offer up a mild bit of entertainment the way the first one did and I have to say that this one only gets a single thumb out of three thumbs.
Rev. Ron is a wannabe movie critic and a guy who hopes to one day lead an army of armored bears that are armed with bazookas that shoot out great white sharks—he also tends to have stupidly impossible dreams. You can check out some more of his reviews (including another review of this film and the first one) on his blog: RevRonMovies.BlogSpot.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@RevRonster) where you can see him live-tweet the bad movies that Chris makes him watch.