[Review] ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ embraces horror with mostly faithful video game remix
The resident Evil the films have evolved from a barely recognizable adaptation of video games to an action sci-fi series. It emphasized the action, moving further and further away from anything that resembled the intrigue of the games. Writer / Director Johannes roberts, with Paul WS Anderson executive producer, offers a reboot that goes back to the beginning. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City remixes the first two games in Capcom’s popular game series, delivering a highlight reel that delivers iconic moments, intense horror sequences, and the goofy dialogue fans have come to expect.
The plot covers the events of resident Evil and Resident Evil 2, with the STARS Alpha team sent to Spencer Manor to find the missing Bravo team. Meanwhile, Claire Redfield (Kaya Scoledario) finds himself teaming up with rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy (avan Jogia) during a personal research mission. Both sides face unspeakable terror thanks to an epidemic in the city. No one knows that corrupt pharmaceutical company Umbrella is aiming to contain the outbreak by destroying the city at dawn.
Roberts painstakingly recreates many iconic moments and sets from beloved video games, but remixes them enough to keep fans on their toes. Personalities and motivations change dramatically for favorite characters. Kennedy, for example, is a bloody madman; he’s so stubborn and terrible at his job that daddy had to use his strength to get him even the most unwanted mission in Raccoon City. Chris Redfield (Robbie amell) does not have a strong connection to his distant sister Claire and the pins after wild card Jill Valentine (Hannah john kamen). She, in turn, loves the muscular but not threatening Wesker (Tom hopper). These tweaks shape the story in surprising ways and at times provide emotional stakes through a revolving door of sets and thrilling horror sequences.
Production designer Jennifer spence, which deserves a lot more attention and praise for its horror work, contributes some stunning and highly detailed sets straight out of video games. Roberts sneaks in on the references and nods his head for fans to understand as well. More importantly, the filmmaker is focused on delivering the intense survival horror of the series. The claustrophobic and dark hallways of the police station or mansion are tangible and terrified as Roberts draws all the tension possible from them. He makes that terror palpable through clever angles, darkness and relentless hordes that make it difficult to escape.
While these horror sequences may leave you nervous, not everything is so successful. The first few dialogue scenes can be difficult, especially when introducing essential plot elements or characters. Some of this can be attributed to another element of the game, but it will appeal to those unfamiliar with games. Dialogue, needle drops, and tech gags meant to make it clear that we are in 1998 serve as a blatant distraction that can take you out of the story rather than the intended humor. The VFX can also be rough when it comes to more monstrous creatures, of which there aren’t too many, but that makes this video game-style finale less impressive.
Not a second is wasted trying to merge two heavy gameplay plots, and everything just doesn’t do the trick. Roberts manages to strike a solid balance, cleverly putting Claire at the forefront as a capable leader. Scoledario (Crawl) makes an excellent lead heroine again, infusing Claire with the unstoppable courage, intelligence, and heart she’s known for with plausible action prowess. She might not have the chemistry with Amell to make their sibling relationship resonate, but it has more to do with the lack of wiggle room in the script for it to build. Either way, it’s Claire who we’re ultimately set to follow in a sequel.
A mid-credit scene creates one while providing a lasting farewell gift from massive fan service. Ultimately, Roberts succeeds in making a game that’s much more faithful and horror-focused. resident Evil movie. This adaptation makes some weird choices with its characters and can be rough around the edges, but it delivers a compelling lead and pulls off some suspense-filled streaks. Roberts gets things done quickly, but he constantly sends a lot of information to his audience.
Those unfamiliar with games might find it difficult to gain a foothold in a world so rich in history. Corn Welcome to Raccoon City is a movie made for fans of the games by a big fan, and Roberts manages to generate interest in more. The potential of this franchise is immense and Roberts gives an exciting taste of horror.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City hits theaters on November 24, 2021.