‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ is a festival of monsters and gore with all the shamelessness of the best Series B
If the headline has not been a red line when immersing yourself in this review, let’s specify something else: ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ is not a serious and stretched adaptation of Capcom’s horror action video game series, but a festival of blood, monsters and absolutely no plot rigor. It recovers the washed-out and hysterical narrative of the Paul WS Anderson films, with constant time jumps and incongruities and if you don’t appreciate the most insane moments of the Mila Jovovich saga, this film is not for you.
But if you understand movies (as video games are, though we’ll get to that later) as action-show roller coasters, with cool poses and one-piece characters, with soap opera intrigues that are difficult to follow and nods to video games that jump in your face like a rabid crab, possibly ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ will please you. The reasons why Sony has not carried out a more relaxed and atmospheric adaptation have not been made public with the possibility of restarting the franchise … but we celebrate it.
‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ picks up highly recognizable elements from the first two games, the ‘Resident Evil’ mansion and police station and the burning Raccoon City from ‘Resident Evil 2’, and spice them up into a more or less consistent whole with an origin story for Claire and Chris Redfield that has little to do with games and that certainly gives rise to the less interesting scenes in the film. And in those three containers, Johannes Roberts (‘At 47 meters’, ‘The other side of the door’) throws all kinds of elements related to games.
Zombies, mutant monsters, viral conspiracies, underground laboratories under a mansion, nothing makes much sense and it doesn’t matter, because the movie works more like a collage of key moments of the series. Thus, we will see the first zombie parade before us turning towards the viewer as in ‘RE’, the remarkable replica of the facades of the iconic buildings of the two games, the truck driver who unleashes chaos in ‘RE2’, the reference to ‘Jill Sandwich ‘, Lisa Trevor’s look taken from the 2002 remake of’ RE ‘, the’ Itchy, Tasty ‘meme and a long etcetera.
Butt with Lo Biohazard
For a time, James Wan was going to be in charge of producing this reboot of the franchise in cinema, and without a doubt it would have given it a darker and atmospheric touch (although seeing the unraveling of his latest ‘Maligno’, you can’t put your hand on the fire either). However, the project passed into the hands of Johannes Roberts, and with the production of Paul WS Anderson, ‘Welcome to Raccoon City’ was reoriented towards a tone somewhat less referential and out of control than previous films, but certainly far from a normal horror movie.
The fact is that we can’t complain too much either, because the interactive ‘Resident Evil’ are not exactly an example of narrative containment, coherent characters and rigorous decisions. It is true that the seventh installment took a turn towards the sordid and the dark, but in the last ‘Village’ we again have ten-foot vampires and huge octopuses. All very in tune with the Spanish madness of ‘Resident Evil 4’ or even with the first games, let’s not forget that they were a hodgepodge of clichés more typical of an exploitation movie that of a game that looked for a careful work of atmosphere to the ‘Alone in the Dark’.
Esta ‘Resident Evil’ provides a fair amount of winks for franchise connoisseurs, good setting work and makeup, a soundtrack with eighties touches, and digital effects far superior to what the most ominous feared watching the trailers. The dynamics between the characters works and even their fragmented narrative, because the main group is not found until the end, reinforces the spirit of “viva Cartagena” that the whole breathes.
And even within those limits, ‘Welcome to Raccoon City’ certain moments of visual inventiveness are allowed, such as the attack on Chris Renfield in a dark environment, illuminated only by the flashes of his weapon, or the majestic and macabre entrance of the burning zombie into the police station. The set is debatable depending on how picky each one is, but in the face of so many horror and superhero movies that believe they deserve the Palme d’Or, this is a very refreshing alternative.