Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, the review: do you learn by wandering?

The review of Resident Evil – Welcome to Raccoon City: a sincere and sincere reboot in its naivety, capable of evoking the atmosphere of the first two videogame chapters of the saga and above all embracing its soul as a pure B-movie.

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Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccon City, Robbie Amell during a scene from the film

There are die-hard franchises. Franchises that have been dragging on for some time. Brands about zombies who have become zombies themselves. Resident Evil is here to prove it. From 1997 onwards it has infected the pop imaginary, proliferating like a contagious virus capable of taking root on every possible screen. Between pixels and film, the Capcom saga has disturbed, conquered and horrified us, but it has also disappointed and angered us with bitter disappointments. With this review by Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City maybe we’ll be the ones to piss someone off. Especially those who expected a slating. But no. We will not miss this reboot. We won’t do that even though the cast isn’t all that inspired. We will not do it despite the fact that the story is far from unforgettable. We will not do it although it is obviously a film out of time. Let’s face it: if this Resident Evil had been released in 2002 we would have only applauded this faithful and passionate transposition, but in the meantime our eyes have changed. We have become more careful, savvy and allergic to naivety. But perhaps in all these years we have forgotten what Resident Evil was in the 90s: a huge tribute to American B-movies.

Resident Evil Welcome To Raccon City

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccon City, Robbie Amell and Kaya Scodelario in a scene from the film

And this film is exactly the same: a B-movie across the board, from the cheap aesthetic to the characters without depth. Going obviously through liters of blood and some well-placed jump scare. Is this really enough to survive on the big screen in 2021?

All in one night

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Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccon City, Kaya Scodelario in a scene from the film

We are in the late nineties, and of course it is a dark and stormy night. After a short prologue that peeks into the traumatic past of the protagonist, our Claire Redfield has just arrived in Raccoon City. Not quite the friendliest of places. A dark and desolate ghost town, Raccoon is overrun by undead hungry for human flesh, and most of all is about to be razed to the ground. Because? Because in its bowels the pharmaceutical company Umbrella has created an abominable virus from which an epidemic that is now out of control has exploded. Too bad that among the few souls still around the city there are also Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, intent on recovering a team of colleagues who have disappeared from the parts of the mysterious Spencer villa. Already from the premises it is easy to understand the starting point for this reboot, that is to make stories and characters from the first and second Resident Evil coexist on the big screen, two video games that in 1997 and 1998 gave new life to survival horror. Two titles marked by a sense of helplessness in front of the figure of the zombie and the advance of a human evil before being monstrous. The ruthless machinations of the Umbrella Corporation were the true unbeatable enemy, turning the wanderers into the consequence of a much deeper problem. Of this interpretation, however, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City embraces only the surface. Director Johannes Roberts prefers to dwell only on the race against time seasoned with light tension and a lot of blood. Missing the mystery, missing that sense of helplessness in front of a dark plot greater than us that dominated you as the adventure proceeds. What remains of Resident Evil is the soul of a proud series B film, which has always been a hallmark of the first video games. Because Resident Evil was nothing more than the gaze with which the East perceived the myths of the West: the man of the law, the criticism of multinationals, the delusions of standardization. It does this thanks to stereotypical characters, crude visuals and a very effective zombie prosthetic make-up. Seen with these premises, in our opinion Welcome to Raccoon City offers almost two hours of honest, unpretentious entertainment. Because, let’s face it, the videogame saga has never proposed a sophisticated horror. And this film is certainly not about to change that.

Resident Evil: 6 reasons why it remains a guilty pleasure to be reviewed

Limp loyalty

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Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccon City, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Nathan Dales, Hannah John-Kamen in una scena del film

There is one aspect that struck us about this reboot: that is the strange management of the protagonists. Of the five personages main only Chris and Claire Redfield have had a truly faithful counterpart to that of the video game, while Wesker, Jill and Leon (characters loved by fans) are completely upset. The last in particular, perhaps the most popular and iconic of the franchise, is reduced to an unbearable speck and represented as a naive and good-for-nothing rookie. All things very far from the characterization of Leon Kennedy. If this betrayal will anger fans, we are sure that the only great consolation will come from the recreated atmospheres and above all from the scenographic care, which perfectly evokes two iconic places of Resident Evil. Villa Spencer and the mythical Raccoon City police station are not just buildings, they are almost characters in their own right with a dark soul to explore. From this point of view the fidelity was really manic, and it is a real shame to have chosen to combine two stories in one, because both settings would have deserved a film of their own. This does not mean that Welcome to Raccoon City is a dead end, because it is clear the intention to give life to a new saga. We hope that in the future there will be more coherence and not this schizophrenia between absolute fidelity and betrayal. One thing is certain: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City reminded us of those typical late nineties films to enjoy with friends on a Saturday night: raw horror, lots of blood, some scares and the illusion of reliving on the big screen. favorite video game. Resident Evil is the A series of videogames, but it has always fed on the B series cinema. Welcome to Raccoon City has understood this and has proudly carried forward this soul of the brand. Take or leave. Getting bitten or running away frightened.

Conclusions

In our review of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City we told you about a reboot faithful to the b-movie soul that has always inspired the videogame saga. Taking note of this artistic choice, the film proves to be a raw horror, with a few moments of tension and jump scare placed here and there. If you are looking for complex characters, an in-depth storyline and sophisticated horror, you are in the wrong city.

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Because we like it

  • The spirit of a proud B-movie, consistent with the nature of the video game.
  • The fidelity of the settings and atmospheres recreated on the big screen.
  • The prosthetic makeup of the zombies.

What’s wrong

  • Leon’s character was literally mistreated.
  • The dialogues and the script are without depth.
  • The feeling is that of a film out of time.

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