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Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2020) review: a very faithful adaptation

There is no good luck for video games in the cinema, but the failure of ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ is especially significant because it represents the last card for the redemption of a franchise that has suffered a saga of outrageous big-budget tacky blockbusters. Johannes Roberts’s film is a return to the starting square that seemed to take into account the spirit of the brand, but it is a proposal at half gas.

It is strange that a video game with ingredients as crystalline as ‘Resident Evil’ resists a cinematic treatment that can read the simple sum of atmosphere, creatures and gore that it requires. Back in 1998, the Constantin Film company rejected an excellent script from the father of the undead genre, George A. Romero, to direct a faithful adaptation of the first game. A decision that should not only explain the subsequent cascade of bad ideas from the company regarding its property but also its null ability to rectify the mess even in this new opportunity.


Johannes Roberts, an efficient B-series director with low budgets, who walks in his films between mindless fun and involuntary comedy could function as an efficient maporrero of Blumhouse’s throwaway productions, but Despite his good intentions, the project is too big for him and he loses his pulse at the most critical moments. And it’s a shame, because ‘Resident Evil: WRC’ starts off really well, with an atmospheric and spooky prologue followed by a very promising first act.

Assault on the RPD police station

The Alberta typography credits give us a clue of the path the director is looking for, with a great use of panoramas, good exterior scenes and a constant rain that begins to ruminate on an excellent atmosphere with shots and attitude that pays homage to John Carpenter’s cinema. There is a dark staging, full of shadows and details reminiscent of films like ‘Assault on the 13th district police station’ (Asault on Precint 13, 1976), which he even borrows from his soundtrack, ‘Halloween’ (1978) and ‘The fog’ (The Fog, 1980 ).

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However, his invocation of the master does not work and despite the fact that the visual approach is a priori adequate, the differences are soon noticed. The camera abuses close-ups close to the nose of the characters and also gets too close to them in shots in which the anamorphic lenses it uses should give a much wider panoramic view. The bill alternates between inventiveness and laziness, as if at times we were watching a great cinematographic treatment interchanging with a standard aspect of direct film to video.

Residentevil2

With everything, the will to create A spooky, virus-stricken Raccoon City is slowly showing promise, with a perverse representation of the effects of toxic water on the population that can be compared to the real problems of the city of Flint in Michigan or details from the movie ‘Dark Waters’ (Dark Waters, 2019). However, by the time the script decides to converge the first two games in the rest of the film, everything ends up taking a run that dispatches the scenes with too much desire to reach the end.

Old-school closeup with disappointing CGI

Either because of the tiredness of the zombie genre or because of a lack of interest in subverting it, when the infected make an appearance they offer nothing that has not been seen recently. It is appreciated that in their appearance the rules of the game are followed, cinematics and key moments are recreated, but at the moment of truth, there are not a lot of them, the makeups are solvent but not remarkable and his appearances are as wasted as the locations of the mansion and police station. They are dispatched with a couple of shots, painful digital blood and voila.

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There is no interest in fixing the camera on the effects of the shots, sometimes the darkness obscures them and other times the camera makes the worst possible decisions. When all the zombies crowd at the door of the police station, instead of giving a wide view of the dead trying to enter, the shot closes on their faces, as if the extras were missing that day of filming. And this, again, is a shame because the location and production layout are perfect, it even gives the impression that some scenes have been prioritized over others.

Mosnter

From time to time familiar creatures appear and, although they are not badly designed – a certain final mutation is even very well implemented in the actor -, they have a CGI that can be improved, although the big problem with these effects is not in the finish of the creatures as in the unnecessary use of them. Overuse and abuse go to absurd extremes in something as simple as putting edible blood dripping from an actor’s mouth is replaced by intolerable squirting in post-production. It is not the end of the world, (heh), but they are details that row in the opposite direction.

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And it’s the details that could save ‘Resident Evil: WRC’ from your own script, very discreet and without surprises for outsiders or well versed in games, outlined with a template, with nothing particularly irritating but nothing remarkable or truly witty, with subplots like Claire Redfield’s memories that lead nowhere or characters like Leon S. Kennedy, who fails to function as a clumsy and clueless hero nor like the western rebel that he is on paper, limiting himself to strolling with a surprised face among all the quilombo.

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Not that Anderson is ever missed, but the dark and rainy environment was crying out for more oxygen for tension and a more confident captain than Roberts, who no matter how he tries to use fancy camera movements, zooms or split diopter, just finishing off almost all his action and horror scenes with a repetitive use of volume scares, appearances from one side of the camera and last minute rescues of some characters to others that arrive at the precise moment.

Rpd

To return to a zombie movie that looks like it was made by John Carpenter, let’s give the reviled ‘Ghosts of Mars’ (2001) or ‘The Land of the Undead’ (Land of the Dead, 2005) a chance and their timeless gaze. in widescreen to hordes of corpses. With a possible sequel and more live action series for Netflix on the way, it seems that the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise is not going to stop knocking on the door, but if something has achieved 2021 is that between ‘Welcome to Raccoon City’ and ‘Army of the Dead’ have finished finishing off the zombie genre, or leave him begging for the coup de grace to the brain that prevents him from being able to rise again in, hopefully, no less than a decade.

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HELEN HERNANDEZ

Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Helen@oicanadian.com Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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