Resident Evil, the video game franchise going back to the original PlayStation, has never seen as faithful a recreation as with “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.” And that’s…for better or worse. All the iconic sequences from the games are there: the zombie turning his head back upon that first encounter in RE1, Chris Redfield shooting at the undead into the dark, etc. And yet, it still manages to add a new character or two, awesome race-swaps including a certain “member of S.T.A.R.S.,” and a welcome wrinkles slightly altering the original timeline. Ultimately, “Resident Evil: WtRC” mostly sticks to the script along with some of the same stilted acting and cheesy one-liners that endeared — and annoyed some — video game zombie fanatics two decades ago. It’s not perfect, but it’s campy fun and all that it entails. A keen understanding of what makes childhood trauma spooky and loud jump-scares makes for a horror-action film that had my wife saying: “I didn’t even know that was based on a video game.” About the highest compliment a non-fan can give to a movie steadfast in following the undead footsteps of a classic gaming trilogy.
A Truncated 3-in-1
Fans and newcomers to the Resident Evil franchise should have a good time in this thriller that justifies it’s running time at just a tad over 90 minutes.
That, of course, means that some cuts and edits were made to make sure the first 3 Resident Evils fit the allotted time provided and I’m sure that will make for fan debates for days to come.
On my end — and with hopes of avoiding potential spoilers — I didn’t mind the edits and “sacrifices” made to make for a brisk action-adventure trekking through all of our favorite locales: the mansion, police station, and the “chase.”
What is to Come…
The days where standalone films can exist without ever-expanding lore a la the Marvel Cinematic Universe are long gone and “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” is no different.
Again, without spoilers, expect to see our heroes go past this initial “welcome” into further adventures that will likely continue the same timeline as the games. Personally, I’d appreciate the next films to completely blow it all up and dive into their own timelines and interpretations, of course.