As any gamer will tell you, “Dead Space” tears up the sales charts much like its video game brethren “Resident Evil,” “Assassin’s Creed” and “Epic Mickey.” It did so well a direct-to-DVD animated movie was spun off of it.
Now there’s a second volume of the game coming, “Dead Space 2.” So should be surprised that there’s another animated movie? No. The first did that well. So here’s the sequel, “Aftermath.”
Hate to say it folks, but these ravaging space zombies are starting to stink up the room a bit.
Not that this is entire disaster. The good news include the reunification of the original supervisory directorial team of Joe Goyette and Mike Disa, which is not as common as you might think. From the looks of this film, Disa and Goyette have developed a particularly fast-paced, savage animation style for the traditionally animated sequences of this movie.
When it comes to these segments, the film is every bit as exciting and visceral, as the best of the rest. Bodies twisted into pretzels, being burned alive from inside their space suits, the inevitable transformation sequences from inactive corpse to hyperactive space zombies are all done with a touch of panache and even a little aplomb. These segments should keep “Dead Space” fans happy for some time.
The thing the entire movie isn’t done in this process. Only flashback sequences utilize the traditional animation style. Yet when the survivors have been rescued by the Space Marines, Goyette and Disa felt the need to do the “present” in the crudest looking CGI seen in decades. What could have been some nice psychologically tense moments of debriefing end up having the fangs ripped out of this beast. Any potential greatness goes with it. leaving the viewer totally underwhelmed, particularly when you match it up against the original.
The voice acting also leaves something to be desired. Chris Judge ( T’ealc in “Stargate: SG-1”) sounds completely out of his comfort zone as a psychotic marine. Peter Woodward (of “Babylon 5: Crusade”) does better as the man who interrogates the survivors, but a lot of his performance is wrecked by the extremely flat 3G animation. In all, this is one case where you also wished Disa, who was responsible for recording the voice actors, spent a little more time with the talent.
Sad to say, but this whole project could have been better; a LOT better. There were times when Goyette and Disa have some truly stirring animation going down, but any good work done is crushed by the horrendous stiff stuff.
So the final verdict is this is for hardcore “Dead Space” fans, only. As for the rest of us, if you see this coming, get out of its way. After all, “Dead Space: Aftermath” might get its teeth into you, and you really, really don’t want that to happen at all.