The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review: ‘Resident Evil’ franchise finally done justice

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Siblings Chris and Claire Redfield, played by Robbie Amell and Kaya Scodelario, inspect a shotgun, alluding to the source material. The film is exclusive to theaters.

Video game film adaptations are usually lazily done, but not this one

Michael Foster-Sanders
senior producer

Video games properties becoming movies is a tricky slope to navigate during the conversion process.

Stay too close to the story, and you might as well just watch cutscenes from the game, but stray too far, and you have a “Super Mario Bros.” catastrophic dud that sets video game film adaptations back.

“Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City” found a way to do this without getting infected with the Hollywood treatment virus.

Let’s get this out the way, “Resident Evil” fans hated the RE movie series that started in 2002 and ended with “RE: The Final Chapter.” These six movies were only RE by name and zombies.

It’s only right for Sony to reboot the franchise into more of a somber territory.

The film introduces you to a young Clair Redfield at the Racoon City Orphanage. She is awakened by something touching her face while she sleeps, but when she awakens, it’s gone.

Fast forward to adult Clair hitchhiking back to Racoon City to try to find her brother Chris Redfield, who she abandoned by running away many years ago. While in the 18-wheeler with a truck driver who picked her up, they hit a woman standing in the street. The truck driver and Clair exit the vehicle to help, but the lady is gone.

Raccoon City was once a thriving city due to the Umbrella pharmaceutical company having a presence there, but something has made the company pull the majority of its workforce to relocate for some strange reason. Now it’s only a former shell of itself.

The Special Tactics and Rescue Services team of the Racoon City Police Department received an alert to go investigate the disappearance of the Bravo team in the Arklay Mountains while rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy is left to man the front desk.

Then all hell breaks loose.

“RE: WTRC” is a love letter to fans of the series who felt burnt by the first iteration of films. The tricky thing about this movie was squeezing four games into a 107-minute runtime, and the way it was pulled off was a magnificent feat. Having combined the characters’ timelines into an eight-hour window instead of the course of weeks like the games was a great way to tell the story, even though it loses some depth with the process.

CGI gore and effects have always been troubling when it comes to horror movies compared to practical effects but, in this movie, the blend of both works. The zombie designs are grotesque like rotten corpses are supposed to be, and the boss characters of the movie evolving into their final form will give fans something to talk about.

All of the actors knock their parts out of the ballpark, but the stand-out actor goes to Avan Jogia — who plays Leon S. Kennedy. Here, Leon is a straight dork who has to learn to get his shit together or become zombie finger food. It’s more realistic than the stoic portrayal of the rookie cop first introduced in “RE 2.”

Kudos to this movie for casting actors of a different race for two of the main characters, and not just for quota reasons either. Jogia and Hannah John-Kamen make the characters into their own and show the dorks of the world who cry over fantasy characters being a different race that fictional characters can be played by anyone as long as the story makes sense.

My only gripe with the movie is that it’s too short for the magnitude of the Resident Evil story. If it was a TV series, they could’ve fleshed out the characters and story so much more and it would have been better. But director Johannes Roberts did a helluva job with this project, and now the world just has to wait for the sequel.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian