Resident Evil is back, on Netflix, with a series that focuses on Wesker, one of the great villains of video games. Review of the first 4 episodes.
After a dozen games resident Evil (not counting derivatives), a saga of six films with Milla Jovovich, a cinema reboot in 2021, three animated films and a semi-trailer of derivative products and things, resident Evil is a super messy super-universe. The Zombie Kingdom has been home to clones, cults, dragons, robots, magical powers, and so many mutants the X-Men can go get dressed for three winters.
But this world is not enough and the Capcom machine continues to advance. A remake of Resident Evil 4 will be released in March 2023, the sequel to Resident Evil: Village is a solid option, a new film resident Evil could happen, and Netflix has gotten its hands on the package as well. After the awful animated series Resident Evil: Infinite Darknessso here comes a series in live action, centered on Wesker and his small family.
A perfectly incongruous idea, even kindly ridiculous? Yes. But the series starts off as a nice, simple, regressive treat. Review of the first four episodes.
On one side is 2022. Dad Wesker and his two daughters move to New Raccoon City, which looks like a set of Divergentand conceals Umbrella’s obviously non-Catholic activities. On the other, there is 2036, post-apocalyptic world populated by zombies and other critters, where one of the Wesker girls tries to survive and escape Umbrella.
In the middle, there are many questions. Where is Wesker a single dad from? Where does this Virus-T antidepressant pill come from? Why a story about two temporalities? Why some scenes look like a spin-off of 13 reasons why ? What is the relationship with resident Evil beyond three names and two vague ideas?
No need to search for answers, since this series loosely adapted from video games is indeed a gigantic potpourri. It’s a new stage of logical mutation for the saga, which has been self-recycling and self-parodying for a good decade, regularly injecting a new trinket. The Netflix series appears as a deformed baby, between the clichés of cult mythology (Umbrella, the Virus-T, Wesker, the bestiary) and character Z from the movies with Milla Jovovich (the future post-apo and sub-madmax). And too bad if no one had dared to dream of it.
What is the biggest rat in this picture?
yard takes off
First problem: resident Evil shoots itself three times in the foot with its double temporality, a huge brake on the rhythm of the series – and a great test of endurance for anyone who comes looking for resident Evil. To be entitled to its small ration of zombies, giant spider and other lickers in the future, it will thus be necessary to survive a present centered on Jade and Billie, launched in the great teenage bingo according to the american series – new neighborhood, new high school, new survival codes, with bully option and potential boyfriend.
No one wants to see that in a resident Eviland no adaptation had dared to so far. 1 point for audacity therefore, but 15 less for the affront, which will put a coin in the machine “it’s the Netflix algorithm”.
However, this facet SHAME Rancid is not only missed because of the teenagers, embodied by Tamara Smart and Siena Agudong. In reality, almost nothing is right in this part of the story, which unfolds yet another version of Umbrellawith its top-secret, nickel-chrome underground facility, its evil, anonymous shareholders, and its questionable experiments in three plastic crates. The wealth of art direction would make the Paul WS Andersons look like Terry Gilliams, and the general poverty is almost comical.
Top 10 worst “villains” in all of Resident Evil
The big bad CEO of Umbrella, she would have had her place alongside Milla Jovovich. Dressed, characterized and interpreted as if it came from Resident Evil 6 (that’s not a compliment), this domineering boss, played by Paola Nuñez, regularly plunges the series into Z. Facing her, the new Wesker is just an empty shell, inherited from the games, where he was never a particularly rich character despite his evolutions-mutations of sub-Matrix.
Impossible to be passionate about this little circus, all the more snoring as all this is meant to be a countdown to chaos. The only suspense resides on the fate of Papa Wesker and Billie before the apocalypse, but given the zero degree of interest for these two characters, it is a great waste of time. The soundtrack 100% pop and 0% useful does not help matters.
Level 3 on Ashley Graham’s relou scale
How a half streak resident Evil can it be so bland? Perhaps to artificially boost the other part, dedicated to this famous post-apocalyptic future. Budgets (and ambitions) of Netflix oblige, the landscapes of 2036 are even less sensational than those of Resident Evil: Final Chapter and Resident, Evil, Extinction. There are messy streets, very dirty houses, and lots of basements. Between a mini-decor at the borders of parody madmaxa tunnel cluttered with cars and an international horizon for the future, all the post-apo imagination is there. The specifications are met, even if it is largely inspired by the worst video games (and films) of the saga.
To hide the extremely stupid writing, the fault of an inspirited heroine (Ella Balinska can’t help it) and a perfectly empty bag of extras, the series then pulls out the small artillery. The fan of resident Evil can count on the fingers of a big plump hand monsters from games, and feast on some bloody images. From an arm torn off on the tiles of a bathroom to lickers that have rarely been so powerful, passing by a very angry spider, a small bucket of hot blood and fresh flesh is thrown on the walls at from episodes 3 and 4. The satisfaction is relative, but it is there.
The Jade Spider’s ̶d̶u̶ ̶s̶c̶o̶r̶p̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶ spell
In these moments of pure B series, where the trap closes on the rat-characters with a malice equal to their stupidity, the series resident Evil embraces its destiny of small regressive pleasure. Despite a few discrepancies that make you want to hit your head with a brick (someone had the idea of putting Jamiroquaï on an action scene, in 2022), the staging has a few amusing little jumps, especially in a scene from Prison Break zombie version. It’s never very inventive, it’s often even wobbly, and the photo is sometimes unreadable in the dark, but it’s above average for bad series torched with zero effort.
Blood being the only joker in the series resident Evilthe rest is reduced to a trickle. As the invincible Jade traverses disconnected sets, with a few bursts of low-end heroism (saving a brat in the midst of chaos, of course), everything becomes a circus.
This uninhibited approach is assumed with the emergence of a sect of blessed asses from the north of Francein half-strange, half-grotesque homage to Illuminated by Resident Evil 4. But as it is presented-exploited-evacuated in a few scenes, the only option is to laugh about it, by deactivating a few neurons so as not to be encumbered with a reflection that the scriptwriters especially do not want to have. The presence of a chainsaw gentleman reflects this lack of fuel, since this memorable image of RE4 is reduced to a perfectly flat mini-scene, with a threat turned into a gag.
resident and fast
After 4 episodes, the series resident Evil looks like new proof that no one knows how and why to adapt video games cults. after a movie Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City who had tried the bet of the direct adaptation to try to charm the fans, and an animated series centered on Claire and Leon, the Netflix series returns to the formula of yesterday.
On the scale of kamoulox and amusing nullity, the creation of Andrew Dabb (Supernatural) places itself in the middle of the saga of Paul Jovovich and Milla WS Anderson, by offering an improbable recycling-remix, which ultimately owes more to a spin-off of The Walking Dead only to console adventures – unless you take resident evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 as landmarks.
red is dead
Provided we accept this approach, the series Resident Evil 2022 looks at himself with half-open and distracted eyes, mainly thanks to a small appetite for blood and cruelty. From episode 3, the nightmare finally begins, a little, and gives hope for a real dose of monsters that will come and eat everyone – and especially all the tasteless intrigues. It will take at least that to digest the kindly unbearable pre-apocalypse part, and a writing that would pass the intro of the 1996 game for Aaron Sorkin.
It also remains to be seen where the last four episodes will go with the mythology. Between the incident of old Raccoon City which is very reminiscent of the events of Resident Evil 3: NemesisEvelyn Marcus which refers to the co-founder of Umbrella in the games, and of course the figure of Wesker in the middle, the series sows clues as discreet as cinder blocks. If it’s like the rest of the tributes, it will be windy, but there is hope.
In all cases, resident Evil Netflix version is so far an insignificant little thing, which should just make you want to relaunch a good zombie movie (28 days later, 28 weeks later), or a good game from the saga (Resident Evil 1 and 2originals or remakes).