Movie review: ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’

Avan Jogia and Kaya Scodelario in ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’

Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of the Resident Evil game franchise. Like, almost a decade of my life has been spent enjoying and digging through this series. I’ve seen several not-so-great live-action movie adaptations and Johannes Roberts’ adaptation of a mix of “Resident Evil” and “Resident Evil 2”… I’ll say I had low expectations . And frankly, I’m glad I did. “Welcome to Raccoon City” sits so heavily on the “end” spectrum that I swear it might break it. While he’s praised for staying so close to the source material, the way he deals with it is so weird that understanding why they did what they are doing only hurts the brain.

Set in 1998 (the same year as the original game and its sequels) and follows between two sets of characters. Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, and Team Alpha. Composed of Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Richard Aiken and Albert Wesker. Talking about this movie is only easy when you separate the two, but let’s dive into the idea of ​​combining two games together. While for the audience who don’t know anything about the games going on, it makes a bit of sense to show two perspectives of an invasion like this. From the perspective of a civilian and the special forces team sent against his will to arrest him. It has everything a decent horror movie needs. What he fumbles with, however, is how he deals with telling two stories at one point. Because the film is based on a time system, it apparently pushes the story forward so that these two groups can eventually meet. While this is a way to push the plot forward, it pushes audiences through scenes that have such cool potential, like the reveal of the game’s returning enemy the licker (which, no doubt, has licker). ‘looks incredibly cool here) comes and goes so fast it’s barely a memory that the next scene begins.

When it comes to the enemies and characters in the game, this is where it gets incredibly confusing with its characterization choices and the changes to the game’s canon. As I know not everyone who sees this movie has played the game, it’s understandable that they change some characters to fit the horror trope so to speak. But these characters that he seems to be changing are, well, a choice. The show’s regulars are changed so intensely that it was shocking to see, and some casting choices (like Wesker, no hatred towards Tom Hopper) really make you wonder if they wavered on that fine line of “let’s- us this for the fans or for the movie going to the public ‘and just headed away to either side at different times. Raccoon City and its famous locations look great and translate to the screen as you would expect. Many settings that they chose were pretty much pulled straight from the games, even down to the odd layout of the mansion and the expansive opening rooms of the RPD building.It’s strange to see the contrast between perfect game settings and characters that look like they were made for another horror movie.

What I can say for this movie, however, is that when it does it right, it’s fun. Zombies are slow and fast at the same time, and thankfully, scary. Disarticulated jaws; hands outstretched with real horrible wounds. The Licker looks fantastic and is probably the best live action movies have gone to achieve an in-game nemesis. The sound design is brutal and when the shots connect to the flesh you can really get it. ‘hear and feel it. Make every head explosion and gunshot have a real impact. Zombie dogs in particular are absolutely terrifying, and the special effects don’t overdo them in a way that makes them overdone. No heads splitting in half with rows and rows of razor-sharp teeth, no, but just claw snaps on concrete and soft moans that are sure to haunt some onlookers.

You see, everything Welcome to Raccoon city does well, it’s awesome. It’s a fun watch and the little playful nods it makes are terrific and when done correctly will cause you to point slightly and pull out the whole “I see what you did there” nod. But with every good thing the movie does, there’s always a choice that comes your way. Of course, I feel like it’s because I’m such a huge fan of the game franchise that it hits me so hard, but some choices that I know for a fact will confuse new-time audiences as well. One of those things, and my biggest gripe with the movie, is just the use of exposure dumping.

For those who don’t know, ‘Resident Evil’ has a lot of stories. Covering several games, novels and even animated films. But what made the first game so good, story-wise, was how much it kept the player in the dark. You would learn things like the characters and learn finer details from notes and collectibles you would find in the world. Although, even because of that, the story was simple. That’s honestly all the movie had to do, but instead we have multiple scenes of characters looking at each other and throwing the plot on someone else. Usually when something cool is going on in the background, like zombies smashing a door or a burning helicopter. It takes you out of the experience so much that it’s honestly a little crazy. What could easily have been a “learn as you go” plot has been reduced to characters who speak too much for a zombie movie. Where the main thing should be learning by context and watching badass characters shoot zombies. It annoys audiences and just makes them want the movie to go faster, making all of the cool scenes just seem like filler, and just don’t hold up.

With all of my harsh reviews, I don’t hate ‘Welcome to Raccoon City’. As a normal movie buff, it was a good zombie flick with cool creatures and cheesy humor. But, as a fan of the franchise and just begging for a good live-action story about it, it still baffles me that something so easy to translate was done so weirdly and at other times, incredibly wrong. .

‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ scores 3 out of 5 stars.


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