Resident Evil Welcome To Raccoon City: Sony Isn’t Even Trying To Hide The Product Placement


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.


Jogia’s Leon

The scares

Scodelario’s Claire

The ending


A slow opening


The product placement

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Werewolves Within: A Property Deal Gone Bad


Written by Luke Barnes


A group of people in a small town get trapped during a werewolf attack.

Once this film gets going, which admittedly takes a while, and the werewolf begins to actually play a large role in the story this film really takes off- sadly that is about ten minutes from the end.

It has been a while since we had a truly good werewolf film, maybe WolfCop was the last good one but even that was a while ago now. As such I had a lot riding on this in terms of excitement and it struggled to deliver. The final ten minutes of werewolf goodness almost make all of the boring build up worth it.

Therein lies the problem with this film and why it can get no higher, it spends a long time introducing you to basically pointless characters who become werewolf chow and tries to make you care about these characters and the mystery of who is the werewolf. In both of these aims the film fails. I only cared about Finn, Sam Richardson, and Cecily, Milana Vayntrub, the rest of the characters just faded to the background. This film wastes too much time getting to the moments you actually want to see.

The final fight is fun to watch and is certainly a highpoint for the film.

Finally, this is a comedy horror film, but really it is neither. It is not scary nor is it funny. So I ask you what is it?

Overall, a let down that only has a very brief sequence of werewolf goodness




The werewolf fight at the end  


It is not funny

It is not scary

It spends too long with pointless side characters  

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Mortal Kombat: Cringe-ality

Mortal Kombat


Written by Luke Barnes

A while ago I wrote that the images/ trailers we had seen from the new Mortal Kombat film looked like a fan film rather than a multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbuster, and now that I have seen the film I can say that this doesn’t just apply to the promo material but rather the whole film.

There is promise to be found here, the film clearly has a lot of love towards the games and tries to cram in as much as possible on that front. As well the film also boasts some quite well done fight scenes that are nice to look at, however the legendary fatalities of the games, that have inspired generations of shocked and outraged parents, here feel quite tame and almost gimmicky at times.

Moreover, the casting for a lot of the characters is off. I understand that the film doesn’t want to be a blatant copy of the games, but a lot of the characters here don’t look in any way similar to their game counter-parts sometimes to a distracting degree. It almost, to get back to that fan film angle, feels like a group of friends re-enacting their favourite scenes over one long weekend in early September.

Finally, and perhaps worst of all, the writing is far too try hardy and often falls into the category of cringe. Many of the classic lines from the games are featured here, but they do not feel organic to the story or the situation instead they feel forced in for the sake of fan service.

Overall, on the bad side of meh entertaining enough for a one off viewing, but it will be almost immediately forgotten afterwards.

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Prince Of Persia: This Man Love Sand, The Inverse Of A Young Anakin Skywalker

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time


Written by Luke Barnes

Video game films often get a bad rap, however, more often then not I find enjoyment in them- especially when they have fun with the games original premise. Assassins Creed, Resident Evil andthis all have more than enough campy, popcorn fun to make up for the fact they wont be winning any awards.

I think of the videogame films I’ve seen this is definitely on the better side of the genre, as the film works as an escapist action, adventure film that doesn’t require too much brain power. I thought the time mechanics, as yes this has time travel elements, are handled much better here then they are in the game. It is far more concise and obvious here, whereas in the games it varies and is never fully pinned down.

Jake Gyllenhaal can rarely take a step wrong, and that is again shown here, as he makes for a very likeable if not very realistic Prince of Persia. Gyllenhaal gives the role a light touch and has fun with it, he also shares great on-screen chemistry and rapport with Gemma Arterton who is the female lead. The two share a good amount of on-screen banter together that actually manages to be funny and hold up, which is an added pro.

Overall, this feels very much in a similar vein to the beloved Brenden Frasier Mummy films and does, in my opinion, deserve far more love than it receives.




Fun and breezy

Simplifies the games


The CGI is distracting

Rather obvious white washing

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Doom: The Rock As You Have Never Seen Him Before

Doom is a science fiction action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, serving as a live action adaptation of the classic video game series of the same name. The plot sees a group of soldiers sent on a rescue mission to mars, however once they arrive they are forced to do battle with genetically engineered monsters.

So, this film is used as the poster child for bad video game to film adaptations, however, after watching it I can see a rough sort of charm to it and I don’t think this film is as bad as it has been made out to be by any means. I remember watching this film when I was young, my parents put it on one Halloween night, and before rewatching it for this review that was my only exposure to the film.

I easily think the best sequence in the film is the first person shoot out rampage towards the end of the film. Not only does it look somewhat like the games, which is nice as a point of homage, but also it is just cool to see first person action Hardcore Henry proved my point without a shadow of a doubt and it remains the case here.

Moreover, the performances from Karl Urban, The Rock and Rosamund Pike are all quite good, will any of them win awards for their roles? No they won’t. Though they are good enough to get you lost in the world of the film and its characters.

Overall, maybe I have a soft spot for this film because I am a fan of the games, but I do think that it is a lot of dumb fun and action movie cheese which makes it enjoyable. It is the best video game adaptation no it is not, but it is a good time.


The first-person sequence

The acting though not great is good for a video game movie

The world

The creatures themselves


None of it made sense

The effects are laughably bad

It is not really related to the games in anyway


Reviewed by Luke    

Sonic The Hedgehog: The Hero We Need!

Sonic The Hedgehog is an action-adventure comedy film based off the beloved 90’s videogame figure. The plot follows Sonic after he flees his home world and takes up residency on Earth, there he meets Donut Lord (James Marsden), who accidentally tranquilisers him causing him to lose his rings, which Sonic needs to travel between worlds. While all of this is happening the US, government calls in a specialist to check out all the strange goings on, Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who them seeks out Sonic to capture him and use him for his own odds and ends.

Can I just say that as someone who grew up playing Sonic in the early 2000’s this film is a triumph they nail Sonic (Ben Schwartz), Robotnik and the world, more over that post credits scene when they introduce Tails had me giddy with excitement. I am actively looking forward to a Sega shared universe and if all of the entries to the universe are as good as this, we might finally have something to rival the MCU.

My only complaint about this film is that occasionally it focused a bit too much on it’s human characters, while Marsden did a good job the same can’t be said for his in-film wife Maddie/ The Pretzel Lady (Tika Sumpter), who added nothing and was incredibly underdeveloped, the scenes that focused on her and her sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell), dragged on and on and took away from the overall enjoyment of the film. The joke of Rachel not liking Donut Lord/Mike is used for all it is worth and it is never once funny.

However, Carrey’s turn as Robotnik more than makes up for the lack of comedy and he is phenomenal and hilarious. I didn’t realise until I was sat watching this film how much I had missed seeing Jim Carrey on the big screen, as he was a favourite of mine when I was growing up. Carrey brings some real menace to Robotnik, but also makes him super over the top in the best way, he perfectly walks that line between scary and funny.

Sonic himself looks great and reminds me of the Sonic from my youth, Ben Schwartz does a great job voicing him, he brings a lot of energy to the character and also makes him warm and likeable; there are elements of the latest iteration of Paddington mixed in the there I am sure.

Overall, there is a lot to love about this film, it is not only a great videogame movie, but also the perfect start to a wider universe. Loved it! If you’re a fan of Sonic or, a newcomer to the character I guarantee you will have a good time with this film.


Setting up the world.

I missed Jim Carrey.

The post credits scene.

Sonic himself.


Any scene with Maddie or her sister.