Home News Switch Resident Evil Netflix: our opinion on the divisive series (without spoiler)

Resident Evil Netflix: our opinion on the divisive series (without spoiler)

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After a rather average Resident Evil Infinite Darkness, the SVOD giant is back with a new series inspired by the Capcom license, but this time in live-action.

This new dive into the heart of horror is currently recording very average ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (22% of audience for reviews around 53%) and benefits froma very bad publicity on both sides of the web. For the most part, they are fans of the license who do not find here anything very Resident Evil, while others rely on a much more acidic argument, criticizing in particular the casting and the scriptwriting choices that they do not hesitate to put on the back of the policy called “à la Netflix”.

However, in my opinion, although imperfect, this new Resident Evil series is not totally to be thrown away.

The real/false sequel

Resident Evil plays on two timelinesone in the future and the other in the present. It is above all that of this apocalyptic future of 2036 which is put forward and considered as “main”. We follow Jade Weskerone of the daughters of the infamous Albert Wesker (recurring antagonist of the videogame license), who tries as best he can to understand and seek a remedy for the Virus-T which has invaded and destroyed the world in large part. In the course of the episodes, we will also follow a teenage Jade and her sister Billie in 2022 during flashbacks whereasthey land in New Raccoon Cityin South Africa, an idyllic city conceived from scratch by Umbrella, which is trying to redeem itself after the disaster of 1998 (the atomization of the real Raccoon City). The general public sees nothing but fire, Umbrella having buried all the evidence of its misdeeds and New Raccoon City becomes “the place to be” for the bobos looking for a peaceful life. Of course it is, nothing is going to go as planned and we will learn how and why, zombies and other lickers became our roommates 14 years later.

Two times, two movements

Two timelines that intertwine and complement each other as much in their weave as in their staging. We have the right to a horrific teen movie full of revelations (maybe a little too much) in 2022where we will follow the young Jade (Tamara Smart) and Billie (Siena Agudong) who, by force of circumstance, find themselves trapped in Umbrella’s pharmaceutical conspiracy business and their father’s heavy secrets Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick)until now considered as a simple scientist supposed to work on a magic pill for Umbrella. By the way, Lance Reddick delivers an excellent performanceand his character, Albert Wesker, reveals himself little by little. He and his shadowy areas.
Then takes place a hunt for clues filled with more or less hidden references, and if it blows hot (revelations, links with the games and the rewriting of some mythologies of the license) and cold (long dialogues, secondary characters not very striking, the stupid uncle and a sequence of treasure hunt in camera a bit ridiculous), the whole timeline of 2022 has the merit to lay the foundations and to offer us an origin story to all the events that we will see on the other side of the mirror. Whether it is the relationships between the characters or the apocalypse itself.

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The part located in 2036 is the total opposite. Much more nervous, it is mainly based on a breathless chase between Jade and the Umbrella armed forces who do not skimp on the means to get their hands on the Wesker girl on the run. This part, where the dead, the blood and the iconic monsters of the saga gather, is a deluge of special effects rather successful (much more than the film starring Kaya Scodelario) and bloody scenes. On the other hand, the treatment of the characters is here a little more summary. All those who gravitate around Jade have finally very little interest and Jade herself has a hard time to take off before the last episodes. We also have the right to sequences of filler not particularly crazy before the big final which announces us a predictable “to be continued”. However, we can only greet the will that the realization has to offer us some spectacle. The adventures follow one another at high speed, maybe even a little too fast, and where some scenes have a hard time to convince (el famoso boat) others are worth their weight in peanuts and are very recreational like the appearance of the lickers or the fight in the John Wick style of the Umbrella’s good face.

In the end, it’s not so bad

So overall, Resident Evil has substance and offers a rather nice show. The cast is convincing most of the timeThe themes mix the fiction already created by Capcom (virus, conspiracy of corpos, cloning, etc.) and more current themes as the obvious parallel with the Covid, the evils of society and the great ecological debates. The realization is more than clean, especially for this type of content, and the special effects are successfulwhether they are in CGI or not. There are also some interesting artistic choices, such as the visual identity of the two timelines, which is an obvious reminder of the company that sowed the chaos, the design of the creatures… You just have to accept the fact that here we are dealing with a “sequel” that takes an alternative path to what the games offer and that the showrunners play with the lore of the license, but here it will be above all a matter of taste.
And for those who don’t know Capcom’s license at all, they will be entitled to an honest horrific series, halfway between fantasy and science fiction. We can only hope that a second season will be released, erasing the few flaws here and there, especially since the finale of this first season ends with a double plot that lays the foundations for a sequel. Well, on the other hand, the jokes out of the specifications of the “good mainstream production”, or the clumsy (and especially useless) winks that we see coming like a Nemesis in a corridor, we’ll do without them next time.

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