Film Review – Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (MA)

Directed by: Johannes Roberts

Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Hannah John-Kamen

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

The ever popular video game series that enjoyed an equally popular film franchise gets a prequel slash reboot for the 2020’s minus the female star that helped make it a long lasting phenomenon.

In 1998, former orphan Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) goes back to her tiny hometown Raccoon City as an adult just as a zombie-making disease spreads through the remaining residents.

One thing that “Raccoon City” manages to achieve that none of the other films in the franchise was ever able to, is creating a genuinely creepy atmosphere.

This starts off quite unsettling as we meet Claire as a youngster in a creepy old mansion orphanage with a mysterious figure lurking around in the dark.

In the hands of 47 Metres Down director Johannes Roberts, it is clear how this new outing manages to rattle where its predecessors, which favoured gun action and gore over chills, could not.

The rest of “Welcome to Raccoon City”, however, is a dull, repetitive rehash of what we have seen before: cardboard cut-outs carrying guns move from location to location battling zombies, and repeat.

According to gamers, the movie is beat for beat what happens in the game. Kudos I guess to the design team who have managed to re-create the scenarios authentically for the die-hard fans, but to anyone else, this would add up to very little.

Perhaps if they had spent more time trying to create a story that breaks the mould, raises the stakes or builds characters to invest in, this could have been a fun ride.

Had this been a brisk, entertaining retreat, it could have been forgiven, but this drags on for almost two hours.

Hardly the franchise reboot the studio probably hoped this would be.

But just you wait, after this under-performing attempt, there is no doubt the studio will give it a breather of a couple of years before bringing series star Milla Jovovich back to kick start it all over again.

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