Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City ★½

What do you get when you try to adapt two separate games into one film? Apparently a disjointed mess. Welcome to Raccoon City tries to be a more faithful adaptation of the games, but in the process mostly fails to be a film in and of itself.

The decision to meld the stories of RE 1 and 2 proves the biggest head scratcher. The constant cutting between the stories saps away any of the tension that could have been built in either one. It doesn’t help matters that the film itself seems uninterested in the RE1 storyline. At least the characters and narrative of RE2 are given some effort and cohesion. The RE1 story is mostly just characters slowly walking around a mansion killing zombies. This ties into the other major issue of the film: pacing. This movie is SLOOOOOOOOW. I don’t mind slow pacing if it’s done well, but the film is trying to set up a “race against the clock” plot line, which is undercut every time a character just slowly strolls through an elaborate set waiting to get attacked.

As for the good: the cinematography is very solid and creative. Also, Donal Logue and Tom Hopper seem to know that bigger is better with a story like this, and overact enough to be fun. (Donal Logue has also clearly improvised most of his dialogue). It’s hard to blame the rest of the actors for their performances, as they feel more like a result of poor directing and writing.

Overall, this film is trying to bite off more than it can chew, and take itself too seriously. The games were a fun and goofy send up of B movies, but there’s so little fun in this movie. A fan of the games may enjoy the films atmosphere, but otherwise there’s not much to latch onto here.

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