Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Preview

“So that’s the big L-O-V-E,” Kyle says in wonder, wiping tears from his eyes as he thinks fondly (and yet with sadness) of the fleeting love that Kelley and Sam shared. Jamie and Patrick nod. Patrick thinks of his wife and six children, Jamie of the demonic puzzle box that presumably still holds the many demons that he’s fallen in love with over the years. They all sigh at the wonder of life, love, and learning. “So how do I know if it’s for real or if I’m just getting weak at the knees for something that won’t last?” Kyle asks. Jamie and Patrick ponder the question that is at the crux of it all. Kyle suggests perhaps he wait until Rachel gets really sick and then he can prove to her that he’s in it for the long haul by leaving college to be by her side. Jamie and Patrick agree that it’s a good place to start. While Patrick’s own love story mirrored Here on Earth almost exactly (minus one very important aspect), not all of them had to be exactly like Here on Earth. “Think of any great romantic comedy. Head over Heels for example. It’s more about getting into some major jam and then showing that you are there for each other through thick and thin.” Kyle is sold, but now is in the same spot as Patrick. With such a boring existence protecting the Dongle there aren’t any jams in their near future. Suddenly the doorbell rings. Jamie checks the peephole. “Huh, it’s Lou. Another resident in the building. Part of the welcoming committee.” It won’t solve their immediate problem, but at least Lou won’t create some giant catastrophe for them. That’s right! We’re watching Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City as the last great chance to grab a BMT Live this year (probably). I thought the trailer looked good, but trailers aren’t everything (even when they should be). Let’s go!

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021) – BMeTric: 31.7; Notability: 21

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 14.0%; Notability: top 8.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.2%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Home Sweet Home Alone, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Misfits, Great White, Spiral, The Unholy, Tom and Jerry, Things Heard & Seen, After We Fell, Outside the Wire, Snake Eyes, Vanquish, Infinite, Out of Death, and 15 more; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom and Jerry, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Red Notice, Dear Evan Hansen, Snake Eyes, Sweet Girl, Cherry, The Starling, Thunder Force, Reminiscence, The Birthday Cake, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Breaking News in Yuba County, and 1 more; Lower RT: After We Fell, Out of Death, Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Demonic, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Home Sweet Home Alone, Die in a Gunfight, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Sweet Girl, The Starling, Every Breath You Take, Thunder Force, Chaos Walking, and 11 more; Notes: I’m not even going to put the plots in as they are pointless. Surprisingly modest here. I do think maybe I should do something to delineate qualifying and non-qualifying in the lists. More recent years have so many bad direct to VOD options available.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – There’s also a sense that all of this will mean even less to those who haven’t played those early games. My greatest rush came from recognizing locations that I’ve seen previously with a controller in my hand. That’s not quite filmmaking—it’s fan service. I want a “Resident Evil” movie that takes these legendary locations and characters and does something fresh and exciting with them. Start with the mythology instead of just ending with it too. And the truth is there’s almost no story to “Welcome to Raccoon City.” After setting up a bunch of familiar faces, Roberts is content to bounce them off some zombies to a predictable final act that brings out some of the iconic big bads from the games. It’s depressingly easy to chart where this film is going to go and who’s going to make it to the inevitable sequel. There’s one thing a great horror game can never be (and something one couldn’t really accuse the Anderson movies of being either): predictable.

(Yeah, the trailers I’ve seen certainly feel like they went heavy for the fan service this time. Worth a shot I would think. It isn’t crazy to suggest that is exactly what the original Mortal Kombat did right. They took a bunch of disparate pieces and made sure to hit the notes that fans would be delighted by. So maybe that’s what we got, something fans will be like “that’s pretty okay” and non-fans will be like “this is gobbledygook. )

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQqqAWMIIAQ/

(As a person who played the first two games, it seems quite good from a fan service perspective. Sure, some of the CGI maybe seems a bit bad / obscured by darkness, but I still thought that they at least seemed to stay true to form.)

DirectorsJohannes Roberts – ( Known For: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged; 47 Meters Down; The Other Side of the Door; Storage 24; F; Forest of the Damned; Hellbreeder; Future BMT: The Strangers: Prey at Night; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: British. Definitely a horror guy, including a short series for telephones called When Evil Calls.)

WritersJohannes Roberts – ( Known For: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged; 47 Meters Down; The Other Side of the Door; Storage 24; F; Forest of the Damned; Hellbreeder; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: Has directed almost all of the films he’s written. He has an upcoming film called The Pool about a rabid dog in pre-production. Sounds like Cujo basically.)

ActorsKaya Scodelario – ( Known For: The Maze Runner; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; Moon; Crawl; Maze Runner: The Death Cure; Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; Wuthering Heights; Now Is Good; Tiger House; The Truth About Emanuel; Spike Island; Shank; Twenty8k; Future BMT: Clash of the Titans; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: I knew that she was from Skins. She was in 26 episodes. She’s in a period piece about mermaids called The King’s Daughter which is coming out next year.)

Robbie Amell – ( Known For: The Babysitter; The DUFF; Code 8; The Babysitter: Killer Queen; When We First Met; ARQ; Desperados; Eat Wheaties!; Struck by Lightning; Left for Dead; Future BMT: Max; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Nine Lives; Notes: He has starred in a ton of television including Alcatraz, 1600 Penn, Revenge, The Flash, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Is starring in a film called Float next year which is a production based on a Wattpad story (i.e. fanfic?))

Hannah John-Kamen – ( Known For: Ready Player One; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Ant-Man and the Wasp; SAS: Red Notice; Tomb Raider; BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; Notes: She’s playing Red Sonja in the new Red Sonja film. Also mostly a television actor including as Ornela in Game of Thrones.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $15,863,138 (Worldwide: $30,763,138)

(Not going to do well enough to guarantee a sequel, but also because of the pandemic they might think it is at least worth a shot to adapt a more original story next time. Only time will tell.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (19/66): Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is an affectionately faithful adaptation that further proves its source material is ill-suited to the big screen.

(Affectionately faithful is nice. I do feel like that is the way to do it if you insist on making a movie, even though it feels like a television series is obviously the way to actually adapt something like Resident Evil.)

Reviewer Highlight: Writer-director Johannes Roberts supplies plenty of fan service but scarce coherent plotting and even fewer scares. – Nick Schager, Variety

Poster – Raccoon City: The Movie

(I feel like modern posters are losing a bit of the joie de vivre of the past. This looks extremely CGI, like a video game cover rather than a real, live-action film poster. Font is classic and the red and white pop, but everything else is pretty dreary and bland. B-.)

Tagline(s) – Witness the Beginning of Evil. (D)

(Not actively bad, but that’s the only positive. What is this, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning? Would be impossible to count the number of films that this could be a tagline for.)

Keyword(s) – evil

Top 10: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), Black Widow (2021), Spider-Man (2002), The Suicide Squad (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Ghostbusters (1984), The Last Son (2021), Joker (2019), Midsommar (2019)

Future BMT: 84.1 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.9 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013), 71.3 Supergirl (1984), 70.5 Halloween II (2009), 69.3 Seed of Chucky (2004), 65.5 The Darkness (2016), 65.2 The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008), 63.9 Blair Witch (2016), 62.5 My Soul to Take (2010), 60.4 Pet Sematary II (1992)

BMT: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), The Mummy (2017), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Hellboy (2019), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Friday the 13th (2009), Masters of the Universe (1987), Anaconda (1997), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Scary Movie V (2013), The Haunting (1999), Queen of the Damned (2002), Truth or Dare (2018), Leprechaun (1993), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Slender Man (2018), The Golden Child (1986), Cobra (1986), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Dracula 2000 (2000), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Ouija (2014), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Virus (1999), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), The Devil Inside (2012), The Gallows (2015)

Matches: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021), Spider-Man (2002), The Last Son (2021), The Fifth Element (1997), 6 Underground (2019), Hereditary (2018), The Devil All the Time (2020), Legend (1985), It Chapter Two (2019), RoboCop (1987), Fear Street: Part One – 1994 (2021), Poltergeist (1982), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Evil Dead (2013), The Dark Tower (2017), Seed of Chucky (2004), Saturday the 14th (1981), Masters of the Universe (1987), The Haunting (1999), Drag Me to Hell (2009), Halloween (2007), The Fog (1980), The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014), Leprechaun (1993), Mirrors (2008), Gretel & Hansel (2020), 1408 (2007), Blair Witch (2016), Halloween II (2009), The Omen (2006), Sinister 2 (2015), The Lords of Salem (2012), Ouija (2014), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), The Prophecy (1995), Pumpkinhead (1988), Needful Things (1993), Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992), … (and many more)

(I wonder why 2019 was all about “evil” movies? Anyways, weak keyword, but I couldn’t resist the A+ keyword. The other Resident Evil’s not being on the future BMT list suggests the keyword is even weaker than you would think in that people basically just don’t use it, even in obvious cases.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Neal McDonough is No. 7 billed in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City and No. 3 billed in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (7 + 3) + (2 + 2) = 14. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – A reboot of the series was announced while Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) was still in theaters.

Johannes Roberts told Screen Rant that the reboot would be “super, super scary” and more faithful to the games.

Greg Russo’s unused story and script, which he was developing with James Wan was inspired by Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (2017). Russo wanted to go back to scarier tone of original games and focus more on horror, just like Resident Evil 7 did.

Capcom gave the filmmakers their blueprints to recreate the main halls of the Spencer Mansion and the RPD (police station).

The film is based on and inspired by the first two video games.

The twelfth Resident Evil film count the animated CGI films Biohazard 4D: Executer (2000), Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008), Resident Evil: Damnation (2012), Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017) and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021) and the seventh live action Resident Evil film in the series.

The movie’s title appears in red bold letters. Color and font are identical to how the title appears in the first game.

Claire’s wearing a necklace. Its pendant is a dragonfly wing. In the video game Resident Evil: Code Veronica you have to collect multiple dragonfly wings to advance in the game.

Towards the end Claire is giving a set of keys that unlock a secret passage. There are four keys on the ring and they are modeled after the four keys required to access most of the locked doors in the police station in Resident Evil 2 game.

Leon kills mutated Birkin with a rocket launcher. It’s tradition in most Resident Evil video games to kill the final boss with a rocket launcher.

Wesker plays the piano to open a secret passage way. A similar event occurs in the original video game from 1996.

The movie set in 1998. Resident Evil (1996), first game of the franchise, set in the night of July 24-25, 1998.

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