Resident Evil Welcome to Raccoon City: better get the controllers out

REVIEW / FILM REVIEW – The famous video game franchise is making a comeback in cinema with “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City”. A return to dark rooms that does not really do justice to the terrifying license …

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, back to origins

In six films, Paul WS Anderson has gone all over the place with the saga Resident Evil. The director and producer did not seek loyalty at all costs to the Capcom license but to highlight the heroine embodied by Milla Jovovich in ever more uninhibited shows. A bias through which the film franchise has acquired its followers, aware of the nanardous potential of the company.

[display-posts orderby="comment_count"]

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City takes a very different path. In its narrative structure as in its sticky atmosphere, this reboot intends to go back to the origins of the games, based on the plot of the first two. The feature film focuses on a particularly rough night in 1998. After fleeing for five years the almost ghost town in which she grew up, the former headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Umbrella Corporation, Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) returns to try to unravel a mystery. A resident warned her about the more than doubtful actions of the company, which would contaminate citizens by poisoning the water.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City © Metropolitan Filmexport

As soon as she arrives, Claire is confronted with strange phenomena. This is also the case of Leon Kennedy (Avan Jogia), a novice police officer who discovers that the health of some people is deteriorating alarmingly. As an alert sounds in the middle of the night and invites everyone to stay at home, a team of authorities including Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper) is sent. to the Spencer Mansion, which would house the source of the threat.

Behind the nostalgia, the void

After the post-apocalyptic aesthetic, the scriptwreck, the screaming special effects and gravity-defying stunts, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City therefore tries to start again on simple bases. And the set-up should appeal to fans of the games. In its sets, whether it is the orphanage, the Spencer mansion or the deserted dwellings, the film recreates the dreary landscape that once knew how to shiver. It also introduces a charismatic heroine, played by Kaya Scodelario, who is entitled to the best confrontations with zombies during the first mutations.

Entering this universe, which takes up well-known codes that are reused in abundance, awakens at best a feeling of nostalgia or anxiety. But she struggles to hide the void of history and the lack of visual identity that is about to follow.

The feature film does don’t want to run into the slightest risk and connects the passages sewn with white thread. As soon as the alarm sounds, the reboot becomes a compilation of the emblematic moments of the games, forgetting its characters, its story but also the fact that the spectator is not pulling the trigger. Kills only cause polite yawns, constantly relying on the same jump scare, the same deafening sound effects and the same appearances barely visible in pitch black.

Everything for the rest, nothing for the beginning

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City suffers from the syndrome of many current blockbusters, insofar as he already thinks about the rest of his universe without bothering to take care of the invitation in it. Evidenced by the now endless post-credits scene in which a key character finds an iconic accessory, while he has not even had the right to a development worthy of the name during the two hours that have just passed. Everything else in the film works this way, multiplying the coarse winks as if they were enough to enrich an intrigue.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Lisa Trevor (Marina Mazepa) – Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City © Metropolitan Filmexport

Special mention to poor Leon and his troubled past forgotten along the way, who is only entitled to an unfortunate glow and is unquestionably required as the most ridiculous protagonist. The only defense left to Welcome to Raccoon City is, that indeed, he respects the license Resident Evil through a few small touches, like the design of the creatures. Small touches that do not hide anything the facilities of this lazy product, not even bad enough to annoy.

A series B much too shy

Never playful in its way of treating zombies and their executions, as well as the topography of the places, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City nor is it funny in its way of proposing disgusting transformations. Yet this is the case in games, which allow themselves hilarious excesses that never detract from the jitters they provide so much you sometimes have to redouble your ingenuity to overcome them. Here the final monster is swept with a God from the machine which wonderfully reflects the fatigue with which Johannes Roberts’ team (47 Meters Down, Strangers : Prey at Night) has apparently worked on it.

[display-posts orderby="rand"]

The feature film sinks to the end in a problematic first degree to give himself a gravity that he never reaches, as the heart is not there. And the rare appearances of the veterans Donal Logue (Blade, Shark 3D) et Neal McDonough (Voracious, Hitcher), accustomed to genre cinema that tries, are not enough to raise the level despite their mad desire to play around.

Everything is way too serious in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City but far too disembodied for the viewer to believe. Which would almost make you want to reassess the saga of Paul WS Anderson and Milla Jovovich. That is to say.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City by Johannes Roberts, in theaters on November 24, 2021. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.

Leave a Comment