Set in the year 1998, Umbrella Corporation has kept Raccoon City alive. However, things worsen for the high-tech pharmaceutical company when suspicion grows within the community. Strange mishaps occur, including unusual deaths, and several dead bodies randomly appear. Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) returns to Raccoon City with new intel about the Umbrella Corporation and their evil doings to people. She hopes to share this intel with her brother Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), and perhaps the two of them can leave the city as quickly as possible. But by the time Claire arrives, evil has already surfaced above ground, and the clock is now ticking before Raccoon City will be permanently destroyed.
The franchise of Resident Evil is well known to gamers and moviegoers alike. This movie; however, is best described as a reboot, and it ignores all previous Resident Evil films completely. Instead, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is fairly accurate to the games, reliving key moments and plot details from the first, second, and third game as well as Resident Evil CODE: Veronica. Naturally, the people who will enjoy this film the most are fans of the gaming series as many moments and even cut scenes are recreated for the first time on the big screen.
As a hardcore fan of the Resident Evil games, I was pumped to see this new reboot. Seeing iconic moments from the video games on screen and familiar locations such as the Raccoon City Police department are just some aspects of this feature that I truly loved. The costume designs and the zombies are also pleasing and respectful to the gaming franchise.
But sadly, while some key aspects here are tremendous to relive, some elements are disappointing to see. The first act is slow and drags on, almost as if the filmmakers were unsure how to get the story underway. The dialogue is also highly unfitting and, at times, poorly delivered. The film is packed with many popular characters, and while the characters on-screen are welcome, the interactions are never convincing. It’s as if the actors are uncomfortable around each other, and therefore, characters feel more like actors trying to fulfil a job and are not convincing to audiences.
Overall, those who have grown up with the incredible gaming franchise will benefit the most from this reboot. To date, this is easily the most accurate Resident Evil film in costumes, plot and visuals. But still, the film is far from perfect due to a weak and uninteresting first act, awful dialogue and characters who seem uncomfortable whenever they share the screen. Naturally, the biggest joy I had with this film was going down memory lane witnessing many iconic moments that once scared me. Still, those who have never experienced visiting Raccoon City could leave feeling quite baffled with many questions.