REVIEW | Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City


The good: It loosely adapted the first two games.

The bad: It loosely adapted the first two games.

The plot in the video games wasn't translated well for the cinema. Apart from being predictable, at least for Resident Evil fans, there wasn't much story that unfolded. Remember that the story points from the video games were meant as interstitials for the player, in a medium where the goal is to finish the mission, and ultimately, the game. Looks like in the case of adapting these for a live-action feature, the sum is not greater than its parts.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City is a textbook example how fan service in adapting video games for cinema does not always work. Sure, it is more faithful to the source material than the Paul W. S. Anderson flicks - we get carbon copies of the RPD police station and the Spencer Mansion - but beyond the visuals, it does not capture the tension and thrills brought by the games. 

The tweaks to the characters also felt unnecessary. I'm afraid Leon Kennedy fans would be disappointed that the movie's version was almost clueless and useless throughout the movie. It is not even about changing the character race to Indian. Actor Avan Jogia worked on the script and direction he was given but his Leon Kennedy was not the police officer who was always ahead of everyone from the game.

Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), a character I also loved to play in the crossover game Marvel vs. Capcom, lacks the charm and awesomeness we associate with the S.T.A.R.S. officer. There was a line about the officers who should be cutting their hair and I could not agree more. Why throw away Jill's trademark bob cut? Sure, a bonnet hat is so 90s but that's actually the time period of the movie!

There was an attempt to show a zombie fight in the dark creatively but it was confusing to watch. There were scenes that were no longer believable because of the proximity of the infected citizens to the lead actors. The probability to survive an attack from a zombie horde should have been zero.

The backstory of central character Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) was also unrealistic. After running away from the city, she came back as a grown woman, who does not even estrange his brother Chris (Robbie Amell). There are more plot holes here than zombies.

Stay for a mid-credits scene in the event you find yourself still watching it for 107 minutes. If there is going to be a sequel, they need to revisit the script and polish a lot of things.

Rating: 6/10

Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City is now showing in Philippine cinemas