Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a silly, joyously faithful movie take on the games - CNET

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 Welcome to Raccoon City Spencer Mansion

Albert Wesker (left), Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield person escaped into the mansion, wherever they thought it was safe.

Sony Pictures

If idiosyncratic asked maine to make a taxable parkland based connected thing successful popular culture, I'd re-create the Resident Evil games' creepy Spencer Mansion and Raccoon Police Department. If you're high-fiving maine close now, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is perfectly the movie for you. If you don't cognize what I'm talking about, it astir surely is not.

The movie -- which hit US theaters Wednesday and volition onshore successful the UK connected Dec. 3 and Australia connected Dec. 8 -- is written and directed by 47 Meters Down's Johannes Roberts, and delivers an adaptation that's beauteous darn faithful to the root material. He wisely reboots the movies and jettisons the analyzable continuity of the six Milla Jovovich Resident Evil outings, which hardly resembled the games.

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In doing so, Roberts has crafted a movie that'll delight fans looking for a fun, Easter egg-filled thrust done the archetypal 2 games successful the 25-year-old endurance fearfulness series. However, the movie mightiness permission the wider assemblage a small bewildered and unsatisfied.

Back to the '90s

The movie kicks disconnected promisingly, with a flashback to siblings Claire and Chris Redfield arsenic young'uns surviving successful a spooky orphanage. Like astir of Raccoon City, this spot is tally by the Umbrella Corporation (surely a children's location operated by a pharmaceutical institution would rise immoderate reddish flags?) and has an aggravated "unethical experimentation" vibe.

We leap to 1998, with Umbrella abandoning the metropolis to acceptable up determination new. The Redfields are each grown up and person gone their abstracted ways, but Claire (Maze Runner's Kaya Scodelario) returns with immoderate aggravated conspiracy theories astir Umbrella's experiments connected the populace. But Chris (Robbie Amell from The Flash), present a subordinate of the city's constabulary unit and feeling indebted to the company, is having nary of it and his sister's suspicions autumn connected deaf ears.

 Welcome to Raccoon City zombie

The zombies are anxious to bid you invited to Raccoon City.

Sony Pictures

Zombies soon commencement shambling done the streets and taking bites retired of people, suggesting Claire mightiness conscionable beryllium right. As Raccoon City falls into chaos, she heads to the constabulary presumption to find Chris again, teaming up on the mode with bumbling rookie bull Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia from Zombieland: Double Tap) and slimy main Brian Irons (Donal Logue of Gotham).

Meanwhile, Chris and his elite team, which includes bid icons Jill Valentine (Ant-Man and the Wasp's Hannah John-Kamen) and Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper from Umbrella Academy), are sent to the abandoned mansion connected the outskirts of municipality to find their missing compatriots and observe much bare undead.

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Fans of the long-running crippled bid volition admit these abstracted crippled threads arsenic the stories of the archetypal 2 entries mashed together, truthful the movie has a immense magnitude to screen successful its brisk 107-minute runtime. And it holds unneurotic beauteous well, paying homage to the games' schlocky dialog and B-movie inspiration on the way.

Meet the Redfields

Scodelario gives Claire a likable intensity, though she's not astir arsenic lukewarm a quality arsenic she is successful the games. She and Amell bounce disconnected each different nicely, giving the consciousness there's plentifulness of affection betwixt these siblings contempt their differences.

 Welcome to Raccoon City Leon and Claire

Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield research the Raccoon Police Department, which is afloat of horrors.

Sony Pictures

The remainder of the characters consciousness secondary to the Redfields, but each the actors negociate to marque them memorable. Logue chews scenery arsenic his frantic constabulary brag delivers expository dialog successful a breathless comedic manner, Jogia's Leon trips implicit his ain feet (his incompetence is apt to annoy crippled fans) and Hopper infuses the traditionally icy Wesker with a fascinating interior conflict.

We besides get Neal McDonough (from Captain America: The First Avenger) arsenic William Birkin, hamming it up arsenic helium slides from loving dada to maniacal scientist. Despite their prominence successful the games, the movie doesn't dive into the Birkin household capable to marque them memorable. 

It makes consciousness to propulsion these characters into the background, but John-Kamen feels criminally underused. Unlike the stoic and occasionally sassy Jill from the games, the movie mentation is somewhat unhinged and unpredictable. John-Kamen is intelligibly having amusive successful this relation and is simply a joyousness to watch, but you'll beryllium near wanting much clip with her.

 Welcome to Raccoon City Jill

Hannah John-Kamen's Jill is immensely amusive to watch.

Sony Pictures

City of the Dead

As fans of the games know, Resident Evil's locations are arsenic important arsenic its characters. The movie's versions are some heavy influenced by their crippled counterparts, but the expansive mansion feels a small cramped, and the inheritance of the constabulary station's main hallway has a CGI sheen of unreality (making it look odd, but besides charmingly akin to 1 of the aged games' pre-rendered backgrounds). Aside from these rooms, the movie doesn't linger agelong capable successful immoderate different locations to springiness america a consciousness that they're ripped from the games.

Zombie constitution is ace creepy and visually distinctive crossed the board, portion the CGI monsters blend successful convincingly with the applicable elements and enactment existent to their crippled counterparts. 

 Welcome to Raccoon City Chris

Robbie Amell's Chris has 1 of the movie's coolest enactment sequences (but doesn't punch immoderate boulders).

Sony Pictures

Encounters with the undead are engaging and intense, with the speedy cuts and unsettling perspectives paying homage to the aboriginal games' fixed camera angles. The astir memorable brushwood sees Chris battling a zombie horde lit lone by his gun's muzzle flare and lighter -- it'll springiness you the aforesaid benignant of adrenaline unreserved you got from the astir thrilling moments successful the games.

The specificity of immoderate visuals is apt to alienate radical who haven't played the games -- 1 country wherever Claire stops to look astatine a projected movie volition stroke longtime fans away, but it'll consciousness similar a non sequitur to much casual viewers. 

 Welcome to Raccoon City Licker

Lickers person perfectly zero respect for your idiosyncratic space.

Sony Pictures

Survival fearfulness spirit

The astonishing usage of '90s popular songs (and 1 slayer '80s tune), offsets immoderate of the movie's darker moments, adding a interaction of surrealism and reminding america the filmmakers aren't taking themselves excessively seriously. By contrast, the people by Mark Korven (who antecedently showed his fearfulness chops connected The Witch and The Lighthouse) adds a furniture of dread arsenic our heroes conflict to past successful this doomed city.

The movie leans harder into the look, enactment and irreverent quirkiness of the games than it does their scarier moments, truthful those hoping for large frights volition apt beryllium disappointed. One of the games' genuinely terrifying-but-tragic enemies is possibly a small excessively humanized, diminishing the menace level, portion different iconic baddy is wholly absent. 

Still, contempt the deficiency of scares, insignificant tweaks to the games' lore and wide silliness, Johannes Roberts' emotion for Resident Evil is wide successful each infinitesimal of Welcome to Raccoon City. With a barrage of Easter eggs -- beryllium definite to instrumentality astir for the mid-credits series -- and fascinating takes connected classical characters, the film's a gleeful travel backmost to the Spencer Mansion and Raccoon Police Department aimed squarely astatine fans.

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