This is a spoiler-free review for NetflixResident Evil, which premieres on the streaming service on July 14.
Resident Evil is back in live-action, but instead of hitting the big screen, the latest adaptation is in Capcom's long-running franchise.another Netflix original seriesfocuses primarily on classic series villain Albert Wesker. Despite my initial concerns about the franchise's troubled history in media outside of video games, the excellent acting combined with an intriguing storyline that somehow fits into this increasingly extensive and complicated timeline makes for an interesting watch for die-hards. from Resident Evil, but perhaps a tough sell to casual fans and especially newcomers.
Resident Evil is split into two timelines: one in 2022, which focuses on Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick) and his half-twin daughters, Billie (Siena Agudong) and Jade (Tamara Smart), who have recently moved to New Raccoon City. . The second timeline is set in 2036 - 14 years after a deadly virus causes a global outbreak that centers on an elderly Jade (Ella Balinska) searching for a cure while on the run from the Umbrella Corporation.
Without giving too much away, the events of the Resident Evil games - particularly the outbreak of Raccoon City, which was the focus of Resident Evil 1-3, as well as Resident Evil 5 (especially the ending) - play a key role in the story. However, the series does a great job of condensing the game's big plot points while telling an original story. While the calls are undoubtedly enjoyable for big fans and even casual gamers alike, they probably won't be as exciting for newcomers (I recommend looking fora short summarythe game's story to enhance the viewing experience).
However, if you're a big fan of the franchise, you'll be happy to know that Resident Evil does a good job of tying in with the games aside from some notable enemy types. Several references to the games can be seen throughout the first season, such as: B. someone quoting Billie and Jade in their detective work saying they were the "master unlocker", which reminded me a lot of some of the puzzles you'd expect from a Resident Evil game. They're amusing reminders of the show's respect for its source material.
Resident Evil does a good job of fitting into the games, including some notable enemy types.
Overall, it's a relief to see it doesn't bend lore, considering the initial teasers and plot synopsis left even the biggest Resident Evil fans confused as to how it was the same Albert Wesker who died in 2009.also the same character in this show. As for his two daughters, while I won't fully reveal how they fit into this mess, just know that they're nothing less than what you'd expect from one of the franchise's most notable villains and the evil megacorporation Umbrella would play.
The 2022 timeline takes place entirely in New Raccoon City, built from scratch under the ashes of the original city. It is a planned community to house Umbrella Corporation employees and their families, complete with its own police and fire department - all under Umbrella's control.
Lance Reddick's performance as Wesker is phenomenal, but also a little strange at first as he's not the same Wesker we know in the games. He's a family man, more sensible than fans of the series' villains realize. But believe me when I say that as the show progresses, we get more information that makes his current characterization make sense. Another standout performance from this timeline is Paola Núñez as Evelyn Marcus, CEO of the Umbrella Corporation. Evelyn is ambitious, impatient and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure Umbrella is profitable; Her family ties play an important role in her desire and motivation to make the Umbrella Corporation a success.
At first glance, the 2036 timeline gives a lot ofResident Evil: Extinctionvibrations. Everything seems dark and uncertain. While it certainly provided that post-apocalyptic vibe negatively impacted by Umbrella's decaying experiments, there are walled city-states where Umbrella has the entire world under its control. However, it is clear that the virus is becoming more dangerous every day.
While both timelines contain their own original stories, the 2022 timeline is the highlight at the end.
While both timelines contain their own original stories, the 2022 timeline is the highlight at the end. Not only do we get more backstory on Albert Wesker, particularly the circumstances in which he is still alive in this series, but Tamara Smart and Siena Agudong's performances and chemistry are engaging throughout.
The 2036 timeline has some intriguing ideas, especially when we get to the final two episodes, but getting to those better parts was a slow burn that requires a lot of patience through the first six episodes. I couldn't emotionally relate to what Jade was doing in that timeline. Unfortunately, the 2036 timeline just slows it down. Introducing the unique characters of this storyline was extremely constructed.
We see that Jade has a loving husband, a loving daughter, and a close friend, but since we've never had a history of these relationships, it's hard to really take care of her. Compare that to the 2022 timeline exclusive characters whereAgainGet a gripping context and backstory that kept me emotionally engaged and pales in comparison. Even with the emotional stakes Jade faces as someone trying to save the world and right her father's sins while also struggling to be a loving mother to her daughter, the show's most complex elements are in the 2022 timeline, so with what 2036 frequency seems like pulling in comparison.
While the 2036 timeline could have done more to keep things moving until the final two episodes, the overall pacing feels earned in the end. Each episode had a clear A and B plot; In the end, it felt complete with a proper setup for the next episode. And despite all the darkness and chaos that arises in both timelines, some lighthearted moments made me chuckle every now and then.
Given that both timelines end with the season finale, this effectively raises a lot of questions about how a second season could connect its various moving parts and explore the Wesker twins' deteriorating bond. Considering how anxious Netflix has been latelycancel new shows, and since this series shows promise despite its shortcomings, I hope we're not left in a cliffhanger. There's a lot of great stuff in the lore writing and how it all fits into the Resident Evil timeline, and I'd be curious to see how, if anything, it might relate to other post-Resident Evil 5 games, though being from the series takes place in its own original universe, based on most of the games.
The special effects are mostly solid and an improvement over what we've seen in 2021Resident Evil: Bem-vindo a Raccoon City. During the first season there are a lot of zombies on screen and we even see a few other enemies appear, my favorite being the Licker. Zombies, or "Zeros" as they are called in the series, look scary and menacing and, yes, they run away. While Resident Evil certainly had me on the edge of my seat a few times, especially in the final episode, if you're expecting lingering dread, you'll be disappointed.
While one of the two timelines looks more compelling and interesting than the other, Resident Evil season 1 offers a fresh, original, and compelling story that leaves plenty of room for a second season. Despite the qualitative imbalance, the acting, special effects, and overall storytelling leave me wanting more and leaving plenty of worthy story threads to explore should it be renewed for a second season.