Director: Johannes Roberts
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell
Release Date: February 8, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Raccoon City, which was once a booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, is now a dying Midwestern town. The company’s exodus left the city a wasteland…with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, a group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and make it through the night.
Please Note: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ takes viewers back to 1998 and the once booming town of Raccoon City which has begun to fall apart following the massive Umbrella Corporation’s decision to move locations, leaving the city they helped put on the map to rot in more ways than one. As the remaining police officers and others still trapped within the city limits fight to keep some semblance of order while chaos reigns, they soon discover that there is something far more terrifying and deadly lurking below the town, and it’s about to be unleashed in full.
Written and directed by Johannes Roberts (The Strangers: Prey at Night, 47 Meters Down) who does a pretty solid job in many respects at the helm of ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ smoothly guiding along the wild action and bloody chaos throughout while always showcasing a clear love of the source material. The film’s cast includes Kaya Scodelario (Crawl), Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Robbie Amell (The Babysitter), Tom Hopper (Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard), Avan Jogia (Zombieland: Double Tap) with Donal Logue (TV’s Gotham) and Neal McDonough (TV’s Yellowstone), who each do what they can amid the chaos and offer decent and generally fitting performances in their respective roles for the most part.
‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ is an exciting, fast paced and quite bloody video game come to life in many ways. Littered with nods and recreations of key moments and elements of the games it’s based on and taking things back to the beginning with this reboot to attempt an origin tale that showcases the real onset of the game’s deadly horrors and aberrations that most are likely familiar with to some degree. It does a pretty solid job of keeping much of the story true to the games and even when not following every detail directly it always goes out of its way to pay homage to where it came from. The end result is basically a chaotic ride filled with bloody violence, creepy creatures, zombies and plenty of familiar characters. Although by going full out with the violence and crazy visuals it ends up leaving us with no real significant story paired with fairly dull and uninteresting characters that we don’t really care about at all.
Instead of taking its time to craft a deserving story it instead opts for a chaotic and somewhat lacking collection of violence and bloodshed with no other real purpose to back it up. The good news is that if you’re looking for a fast paced, violent and thoroughly entertaining action-packed horror flick that you won’t have to concentrate on too deeply on, then you should have a lot of fun with this one. It may be lacking in many areas, but it certainly manages to nail the action quite splendidly while always displaying its love for the franchise throughout.
Overall, ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ is an undeniably fun ride loaded with creepy creatures, bloody chaos and nearly nonstop excitement throughout. The film shows its love for the source material at every turn and recreates numerous memorable moments from the game, but it does largely abandon any attempt to create a worthwhile story or develop interesting characters in its quest for violence and creepy imagery. I would recommend giving ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ a whirl if you’re a fan of the franchise or simply enjoy a hectic and fast-paced horror laced action film with more than enough bloody violence to keep things from every becoming dull. It may not be something you’ll want to drop the money on a blind purchase of if you haven’t seen it yet, but if you’re already intrigued it should at least be worth spending the money on a rental to check out.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as whole and serves up a clean, sharp and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish that never suffers from any notable issues to be uncovered along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated moments which are quite prominent in the film, and aside from some noticeable video noise that seemingly stems from the source, it never allows anything to become negatively affected or rendered problematic. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that should satisfy fans as well as newcomers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack is nothing short of magnificent and delivers a crisp, smooth and wildly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send everything from music, to bullets and other action effects, along with creature sounds and explosions, plus a whole lot more constantly whipping throughout the various speakers at every possible opportunity, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a phenomenal 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that more than delivers every step of the way and never comes even remotely close to disappointing.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ includes a few solid extras in the way of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that feature interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Replicating the DNA’ (running approximately 11 minutes in length), ‘Cops, Corpses, and Chaos’ (running approximately 8 minutes) and ‘Zombies, Lickers, and the Horrors of Resident Evil’ (approximately 6 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
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