Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City is soon to be in cinemas, and while fans of the gaming franchise (as well as the old film franchise) are both excited and curious, the critics seem to be in two minds about the film’s entertainment value and originality. 

Picture Credit: Sony Pictures

Picture Credit: Sony Pictures

The upcoming feature is based on Capcom’s survival horror video game series of the same name; the first film based on the games was titled Resident Evil, and was released in 2002. This movie was the beginning of a franchise with Alice (Milla Jovovich) at the helm. 

Despite these films not being enjoyed by critics, they were a commercial success, grossing over $1.2 billion; it was the highest-grossing film series based on a video game, until it was surpassed by the Pokémon franchise. 

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City will be starting from the very beginning, and will adapt the events of the first two Resident Evil games as a group of survivors fight against the evil that lurks under Raccoon City, a once flourishing place that now resembles a rotting wasteland. 

The cast for the film is composed almost completely of the video games' iconic characters, namely Kaya Scodelario's Claire Redfield, Hannah John-Kamen's Jill Valentine, Robbie Amell's Chris Redfield, with Tom Hopper's Albert Wesker and Avan Jogia's Leon S. Kennedy. After over four years of development and delays, Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City is nearing its theatrical release. 

There isn’t long to wait until this horror hits cinemas, but early reviews have really split critics apart. The main point of focus for many reviewers is the fan service; many are undecided if the attention to detail is excellent and really looks like the games, and others wonder if this is a rather uncreative way to tackle this remake. 

See what critics are saying below: 

Ferdosa Arbi, Screen Rant: ‘Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City is fun in its presentation but lacking in substance. It may be entertaining and faithful to the games, but bland characters and half-baked world-building dampen the impact of what could have been a fabulous adaptation.’ 

Taylor Lyles, IGN: ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is certainly not the worst video game adaptation or even the worst Resident Evil movie, but both those bars are pretty low. Director Johannes Roberts does deserve some credit for sticking much more closely to the source material than the Paul W.S. Anderson films, but a short runtime, a rushed third act, and lack of elements to make it truly scary to watch in the dark hold it back immensely.’ 

Phil Hornshaw, GameSpot: ‘Fans of Resident Evil will likely enjoy that Welcome To Raccoon City is a closer conception of the horror ideas of the games, as well as their lighter side, than past adaptations. Its take on Resident Evil's characters are similarly close to the source material, made all the better by some solid changes in backstory and a cast that is both having fun and selling the scares. But the movie never seems willing to lean into its good ideas, or to risk colouring too far out of the lines established by the game series.’ 

In spite of the movie’s somewhat negative reviews, this is unlikely to steer fans away from the reboot. Marvel’s Eternals received similar backlash, but fans of the franchise still flooded cinemas to witness that story so, it is more than likely that fans of the Resident Evil franchise will check in, even if only to see if the reviews are true. 

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City will be 1 hour and 47 minutes long, and is set to release on November 24th, 2021. 

Watch the trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City below:

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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