Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

resident evil welcome to raccoon city poster 2021 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

A step in the right direction for the franchise

Still pretty rocky

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Resident Evil:  Welcome to Raccoon City

Studio:  Constantin Film/Davis Films

Genre(s):  Horror/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  November 19, 2021 (Premiere)/November 24, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

resident evil welcome to raccoon city zombie

Humans taste yum, yum, yummy in my tum, tum, tummy!

Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) is returning to Raccoon City after years of being away to warn her brother Chris (Robbie Amell) about dangers she is hearing developing there since the leaving of the Umbrella Corporation.  Meanwhile as the city struggles to survive without their primary source of employment, the Raccoon City Police are finding strange activity around the city including the discovery of a body at the now abandoned Spencer Mansion.  As Chris, Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), Brad Vickers (Nathan Dales), Richard Aiken (Chad Rook), and Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper) investigate the reported murder, rookie officer Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia) finds the police station is being surrounded by the people of Raccoon City…but something is wrong with them.  Teamed with Claire, he must reach the mansion before it is too late…and Umbrella’s secrets will be revealed!

Written and directed by Johannes Roberts, Resident Evil:  Welcome to Raccoon City is a horror zombie movie.  The film is a relaunch of the Resident Evil film series which ended with Resident Evil:  The Final Chapter in 2016 and is primarily an adaptation of Resident Evil (1996) and Resident Evil 2 (1998).  The film was met with mixed reviews and a relatively strong international box office return.

resident evil welcome to raccoon city tongue lasher monster

Still doesn’t meet the game’s fear level

Resident Evil 2 was my go-to scary game in college.  My friends and I would play it in a nice, darkly lit room on a little PS1, and it was terrifying.  The Resident Evil movies primarily felt like action movies with some horror involved.  Resident Evil:  Welcome to Raccoon City tries to reintroduce the horror to the action…and it is somewhat successful.

The movie is kind of what you’d expect and like watching a video game play out.  That is good and bad.  I feel the Resident Evil films were sometimes directionless as Alice’s path was followed and the bigger picture was often lost.  The problem with this movie is (by combining the first two games) that there are bit too many characters, and you have a hard time caring about them.  If the movie had stuck with Claire and maybe Leon while searching for Chris, the movie would feel more urgent and focused.  Instead you have two stories that are somewhat linked together but still feel pretty separate.

The game characters don’t feel fleshed out enough and still feel like game characters instead of movie characters.  With too many characters to focus on, the actors don’t really get to expand on their characters or give them any depth.  The script doesn’t seem to have much room for them to do that and I don’t know that the writers would have really done much of that if they had the time.  I don’t always like “celebrities” in these types of movies, but a bigger main name might have given the movie some direction.

resident evil welcome to raccoon city ending monster

I really want her to pull out a potted herb and use it to heal herself…

The movie gets the look of Resident Evil and that is a definite plus.  There are some nice horror movies (though predictable) that feel like you are playing the game like the appearance of the tongue lasher creature.  While I do like the attention to detail of the game, it also feels a bit like this movie could just have been a computer animated movie and it would have been just as effective.

I give Resident Evil:  Welcome to Raccoon City a cautious thumbs up.  It shows slightly more direction for the series and could potentially lead to other interesting sequels, but it still has a lot of the same problems the previous movie series has.  There is a great movie and story buried within the Resident Evil games, but attempts to mine this story have been rather mixed.  This new iteration is no different, but it could be a step in the right direction.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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