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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Resident Evil - Netflix (2022)

For those of you expecting, well, something else, this eight episode first season (there is very much an option for more) is not bad as it feels. It isn't the Resident Evil you know, for example. The story of two sisters, regularly shifting fourteen years between two main storylines is not complicated, but unusual for a franchise that has always been in your face, right here and now.

So whilst taking you out of your comfort zone (admittedly, an odd synonym to employ given the usual mass bloodied slaughtering of what used to be humans involved in 'comfort') this thrusts the viewer into an expanded world, giving life to New Racoon City, a prefabricated sprawl of almost identical clinically gleaming communities built by the behemoth Umbrella after the entire city's forced destruction the last time something went very, very wrong.

Here we are introduced to some of the new residents, particularly the Wesker daughters. Yes, that Wesker. There are nods to what has gone on before, though there is little explanation made as to how this current narrative aligns to the previous, save for the little talked about very bad thing that happened.

The story, given that it is dragged unglamorously over eight episodes, is a good deal short of compelling for much of the time. I initially thought I would give up after the first four, admitting that despite my best efforts, this just didn't cut the mustard. I relented and stayed until the end, just to see what they would do with it, out of interest more than need. The story was overlong and the ritual bloodletting was frequent enough to become numb to the entire enterprise. The characters, whilst given ample time, were nowhere near as engaging as their unbelievable back stories would have you believe, with tongue already planted firmly in cheek, as it was. The acting was on average below average with the occasional highlight. In all, a disappointing, though honestly well-intentioned, addition to the canon that probably won't go down well with the die-hards of the games and films, of which I include myself.

I understand the franchise's need to move on and this is a big step forward in that direction, but I am left wondering if that is what viewers actually want to see? The recent Welcome To Racoon City feature was far more satisfying, but alas for the makers, still with both firmly in the past.


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