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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

You know when you read a book, you are forced to imagine these faceless, unformed characters, despite the writers' attempts to flesh them out. They take form in your head and are that way, helplessly, forever. A few years later, they make a film of the book. All of the characters are there, but it doesn't feel authentic, because they're not your characters.


This is the main stumbling block for me here. This is Resident Evil, but not as you know it. The gang's all here, but you would need to double check most of these individuals, just to make sure its them.


Making movies from video games is often fraught with difficulties, because no matter how complex a game is, this is always a poor substitute for reality, even a story-based one. You can't make characters more complicated than the videogame-alikes, as it makes them seem unreal, but its hard not to, because mostly there is so little to them to begin with - a pre-requisite for a pliable, playable character, which their alleged cinematic equals are not. They need to be much more than that.


But when does too much more cause the diehards to switch off as it no longer represents the universe they have been inhabiting, sometimes for decades? Well, folks, remember it's a reboot/prequel/whatever and take in with you the same amount of expectations as you would in the same scenario with anything else and then look at this for what it is.


This is a refreshing take on the franchise, not to mention a welcome return after the slow downhill catastrophe that it had begun to be. This is well acted and directed, with a suitable amount of nods to fans that will appreciate the time taken to go to the trouble. Based loosely (and I do mean loosely) on Resident Evil 1 and 2 games, this mashes the two of these more neatly than you might expect, even if it inevitably messes with the canon in order to do it effectively.


For what the makers had to work with, and how easily it could have gone horribly wrong, this is a really good attempt at re-creating this universe and they should be lauded for this.

Overall, better than expected, if a little too short. I will be looking forward to what happens next.



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