Written by Luke Barnes
The first two games in the Resident Evil series are mashed together in what serves as another cinematic reboot of the franchise.
Oh boy this one is going to be divisive.
For the most part I really enjoyed this film, not as much as the earlier Resident Evil films with Milia Jovovich, but those hold a special place in my heart.
The biggest pro I can give this film is that I found it to be genuinely quite freighting, I don’t scare easily but this one did a number on me and stayed with me after I left the film. I thought the film did a lot of good atmosphere work as well as showing how much of a threat the mutants and Umbrella themselves are. I also thought the film was very tense throughout which only heightened this.
The casting… This is where things will get dicey for some. For the most part I thought the casting was good, many won’t like the portrayal of Leon S. Kennedy here, some for bigot reasons as Avan Jogia is playing a race swapped version of the character and others for the fact that he is constantly proven by the film to be inept and a bit of a loser. To those who Leon is there favourite character this will annoy them to no end, however, I was never that attached to Leon. Personally, despite him being a screw up character I actually thought Jogia did a lot with the role and I really liked him, he was probably my favourite character in the entire film.
Kaya Scodelario is great as Claire Redfield and Robbie Ammell is okay as her brother Chris, I think Scodelario is the start of the show throughout and would love to watch a Claire solo film with her in it. However, where the casting falls apart for me is with Tom Hopper as Albert Wesker. Firstly Hopper doesn’t look the part and looks distractingly miscast throughout, and moreover the characterisation of Wesker is all wrong with the film trying to portray him sympathetically despite him being one of the big bads of the Resident Evil universe. I didn’t like it.
The mashing together of the first two games stories worked for me and I felt like they gave both justice and didn’t rush through it. I would have liked Mr X to make an appearance but hey maybe in a sequel. I think there is enough there for both long time fans of the series, like myself, as well as for newcomers who might be unfamiliar.
Two other smaller issues I had with the film was the blatant product placement, it is everywhere, and the drawn out flash back opening, which I found to be quite slow. Personally I would have opened it with the police investigating Spencer’s mansion, but that’s just me.
Overall, I enjoyed myself I thought it did justice to the series and it scared me. Hopper was miscast badly and the product placement and opening put me off to a degree but the good vastly outweighs the bad.
A slow opening
The product placement
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