The thing about Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is as disappointing as it is ironic. That a film saga – which has been scandalous at the box office – should start anew after six films that went wild without subtlety and end up positioning this film among the worst of Capcom’s adaptations to the big screen is funny. Especially if Welcome to Raccoon City’s original premise was to stay more faithful to the video games.

Because if Paul WS Anderson’s (who directed Mortal Kombat) Resident Evil saga was a wacky streak, it has to be given the edge of being entertaining. To bet more and more on the plot and little by little to find his tonic and his own audience. Aside from video games, although they take certain brushstrokes from them. But Welcome to Raccoon City is nonsense as a movie on another level, and its recreations of iconic scenes from Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 don’t make up for its flaws and shortcomings.

Don’t get me wrong: the original Resident Evil, the 1996 game, is a survival horror that rocked the video game industry by paying homage to the undead legacy and cinema popularized by the likes of George A. Romero. The kind of alternative films that, with limited resources and more or less one-dimensional characters desperately clinging to life, are able to captivate a very specific audience, myself included. A popcorn experience born in video clubs, aired at crazy times and distributed via VHS tapes.

There’s some of that in Welcome to Raccoon City, of course, but the essence of both video games and Series B (or Series Z) cinema is diluted throughout the footage to the point that the Johannes Roberts film becomes somewhat bland and lacking in consistency . A baseless adaptation, whose special effects awkwardly conjure up other times and in which the treatment of characters and events is sadly superficial. Elements that, taken together, are just part of a larger problem: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is as expendable as it is forgetful.

Raccoon City: a doomed city… With a joke police station

The year is 1998. After a long absence, Claire Redfield (played by Kaya Scodelario) is hitchhiking back to the remains of Raccoon City. What was once the headquarters of the thriving pharmaceutical company Umbrella, one of the largest corporations in the world, is now little more than a ghost town, offering shelter to a handful of neighbors and fewer and fewer jobs.

Claire has bad memories of the city. Even before Umbrella proceeded with its phased eviction and relocation. The young woman had a difficult childhood at a local orphanage and without her brother Chris, who works at the police station, she would have no reason to go back. The reason: An incident of a similar magnitude to that in Chernobyl was recently looming in Raccoon.

Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell) hadn’t seen Claire in five years, and he didn’t expect to see her again tonight. In fact, it’s overflowing, which is not exactly common in a Raccoon City only four neighbors and a poodle away from becoming a ghost town: the appearance of a mysterious body in the Spencer Mansion will practically mobilize the entire police station. Literally.

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After a brief reunion, Chris and Claire separate, and while the former heads to the mansion along with his companions, including the intrepid Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and the good-natured Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper), the youngest of the two, Redfield’s It It won’t be long before he has to face the threat: a genetic alteration has begun to spread unchecked among the citizens of Raccoon City, turning them into beasts with an irrational appetite for human flesh. Claire doesn’t convey any emotion on screen, but she’s not ready to join the undead club either.

And in the midst of this exploding disaster, Leon Kennedy (Avan Jogia), the newest member of the Raccoon police station. A man recently transferred to previous destinations due to problems, with a certain tendency to fall asleep during surveillance, a very questionable methodology in extreme situations – if he doesn’t remain petrified – and a worrying tendency to raise his elbow after each day. The comic relief of the film? Unfortunately not.

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Johannes Roberts set out to combine the plots and events of Resident Evil and its sequel into one story that takes place entirely in one night. Something that, of course, isn’t necessarily impossible without making concessions here and there, but the underlying problem is that Welcome to Raccoon City isn’t a bad adaptation: it’s just a bad movie. Not on the level of Street Fighter: The Last Stand or low-budget zombie movies, but ones that don’t deserve a second look and make you question the motives of the first.

Welcome to Raccoon City has a very clumsy rhythm and fails like a horror movie, with few and very badly planned suspense scenes; like in action movies. The settings when the protagonists use weapons are anachronistic, not to mention the scenes where they try to play with the nightfalls. A resource that Roberts ends up wasting by misusing it, and which, rather than imparting emotion, terror, or shock to the viewer, represses it until removed from the scene and film.

We can talk at length about how Roberts, who directed and wrote the screenplay, blurred most of the original characters while blatantly copying scenes and shots from the video games to win over the video game fan. From meeting the first zombie in Resident Evil to designing Raccoon City’s police station. Even the uniforms and suits and even the appearance of a mutation.

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A complicated mix that explodes before the viewer’s eyes and finally empties itself in the final bars of the film, amidst a debacle of sad special effects, unhappy endings and very badly managed freelance plots that result in completely derailed characters, regardless of whether they are their original counterpoints resemble or not.

Because the Resident Evil universe is wonderfully suited to be adapted as a low-budget B-Movie. Even George A. Romero himself came to shoot commercials for Capcom to promote an occasional episode. But if Welcome to Raccoon City fails as an adaptation, with its pros and cons, the truth is that it fails as a film.

Why does Welcome to Raccoon City flop so painfully?

Resident Evil Movie Raccoon City

You can take the name of a video game, dress up all the actors of its characters and even dub the events of the classic survival horror classic and convey absolutely nothing to the video game fan. But worst of all, RE: Welcome to Raccoon City’s real failing, is that what happens on screen generates a certain indifference in any viewer and disappoints those who are simply looking for entertainment and popcorn action to movie coming. Welcome to Raccoon City is superficial, to say the least. And that zombie films leave plenty of room for creativity.

What was supposed to be a journey into the essence and origins of Resident Evil that fascinated a whole generation of gamers in the ’90s finally turns out to be the worst version of a simple story, disregarding all the fundamental aspects that have sanctified and shaped Capcoms Game. Those references to Romero’s cinema or horror, just like Wes Craven and John Carpenter.

Something that could be endured with a little more dignity through a script that shouldn’t limit itself to adopting zombie movie clich├ęs, offering a story about rails and whose special effects show, whether hands-on or digital, is particularly disappointing . To top it off, welcome to raccoon city is anything but entertaining, totally forgettable. It provokes so much indifference that it’s not even joking, and the main characters are a disaster.

Resident Evil 2021

Comparing Welcome to Raccoon City with the saga of the original films, those starring Milla Jovovich, everything becomes clearer that Roberts’ film fails, which is no small thing: while in the saga that began in 2002 and in every new one more and more except Control devices They hardly respected the games, at least they took advantage of the opportunity offered by the Resident Evil brand to offer a true spectacle on the screen. From the third film it was clear what the tone of this saga was.

The original saga of Anderson’s films is not that of a reference. It’s a succession of hits and misses. A parallel universe. But at least they managed to entertain. However, Welcome to Raccoon City is not a goal. There are movies that, bad as they are, look good from a certain perspective, but Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a very badly used adaptation, and as a movie, it’s a movie that deserves to be better. In fact, he had almost all the ingredients to succeed, although he stumbles in the way he takes and distributes them to the big screen…