People all over the world get quite fussy when their favorite games are adapted into movies and series, especially if characters and storylines are changed. While it’s completely natural to expect your favorite franchise to still hold its true form when it’s adapted into a different medium, it’s also wonderful to see how creative people can be. With the latest Resident Evil movie, fans reacted exactly how you’d expect, they were outraged at who was cast as the famous gaming characters, but all would soon change once the film rolled into theaters. And if you are yet to see Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, we have a review that’s going to give you some perspective.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
We can say right off the bat that this film is no slow burn, but it does come packed with suspense. The year is 1998, and siblings Claire and Chris Redfield are living in an orphanage in Raccoon City. Little do these siblings know that this particular orphanage is managed by pharmaceutical company Umbrella Corporation. Umbrella manages the entire town. One evening, Claire wakes to see a mysterious figure watching her; this would be vital years later when this mystery person saves Claire’s life. What we get just from the opening scenes is that the movie pays homage to the original Resident Evil game, and we couldn’t be happier.
The survival horror genre has scared and scarred millions of players all over, so it comes as no surprise that director Johannes Roberts incorporated this very feel into the movie. The movie setting is very dark, quite literally, and this paints an eerie feeling right from the get-go. We only ever see some light at the end of the movie, a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. And this also drives hard the fact that the characters are in extreme danger in Raccoon City.
As the movie progresses, there is hardly any character development besides for Claire and Chris as we get a glimpse into their lives as children and how it all went wrong leading up to the current events in Raccoon City – all-out carnage. And with featuring two key game characters such as Leon S. Kennedy and Jill Valentine without hardly much explanation on where they fit in, we can only hope this was intentional – maybe there is a full-on franchise in the pipeline, who knows?
What does stand out in this film are the creatures and zombies. You are transported back to the first game, and that really makes this film stand out from the original movie franchise starring Mila Jovovich – a shout out to Alice, we still love you. What we really missed in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is that it does not have an iconic line like its predecessor, 2002’s Resident Evil, with the holographic Red Queen demanding, “Get out, get out, you are all going to die down here.” But again, the new franchise does pay homage to the original game, so we can overlook this.
While this film does take its cue from the game, it does, however, not tie any loose ends, leaving viewers guessing how the story developed so quickly. One key element to note is that every few scenes, a clock pops up on the screen to show the viewer the time so we can see how much time elapsed between events. We guess the intention behind this was for viewers to understand how quickly Raccoon City had come undone, but without having the storyline flow properly, this exercise seems disappointing, a great idea, not executed well enough. And, given the fact that the characters are racing to exit Raccoon City before it’s destroyed to contain Umbrella’s wild experiments, tying the story together would have sealed this film as one kick-ass horror.
- Claire Redfield – Kaya Scodelario
- Chris Redfield – Robbie Amell
- Leon S. Kennedy – Avan Jogia
- Jill Valentine – Hannah John-Kamen
- Albert Wesker – Tom Hopper
- William Birkin – Neal McDonough
- Brian Irons – Donal Logue