Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
The Resident Evil series is iconic in the world of video games. Not only is it still incredibly popular (its latest instalment sold over five million copies), but it was fundamental in shaping the survival horror genre. It was inevitable that it would get the big-screen treatment in the early 2000s. There were six films in total, helmed mostly by Paul WS Anderson and starring Mila Jovovich; however, none were particularly great or had much to do with the series they were based on. The latter issue is somewhat remedied in new reboot Welcome to Raccoon City (this time from 47 Meters Down’s Johannes Roberts), which stitches together events from the first two games to create its own monstrous mutation of the series.
One part of the plot follows STARS Alpha team Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), Wesker (Tom Hopper) and Richard Aitken (Chad Rook) – but not series veteran Barry Burton – as they travel to the remote Spencer Mansion in search of the missing Bravo team. Meanwhile, Claire (Kaya Scodelario), Chris’s sister, joins forces with rookie cop Leon S Kennedy (Avan Jorgia), who’s now an incompetent slob, and must find a way to flee the city from the amassing zombie horde.
Though the film includes some iconic moments and locations taken straight from the source material, alongside giving a handful of knowing winks to series fans (the notorious “Jill sandwich” line gets an obligatory reference, for example), this adaptation doesn’t understand what made the horror games work. The suspense and intrigue came from exploring the games’ claustrophobic labyrinthian locations. Here, our heroes spend their time gunning down zombies or being jump-scared by them. Likewise, it takes so long for the main plot to kick into motion after lengthy exposition to smooth over the messy chronology that viewers will spend very little time in the iconic mansion or converted police station.
The flick also suffers from an identity crisis: with dialogue so bad that it could only be a homage to the atrocious voice acting in the original games, it tries to establish a campy, self-aware approach. However, the film also takes itself far too seriously and the clashing tones simply don’t mesh.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is released nationwide on 3rd December 2021.
Watch the trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City here: