Resident Evil Reboot Sends Critics Fleeing from Raccoon City

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The new movie Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City has brought the T-Virus back to the big screen with its recent premiere in theaters. From the start, writer-director Johannes Roberts has been making it clear that this new take on the franchise will be much more closely based on the original video games, a departure from the more action-heavy movie series from Paul W.S. Anderson. The reboot has been drawing some fairly mixed opinions from fans, and it’s faring worse with the critics with a “rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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With just over 30 reviews as of this writing, the score for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City has been smacked with a critical score of 29% rotten on the Tomatometer. The audience score is much more kind, as that’s ranked at an even 60% fresh with more than 250 fan-submitted ratings. This is perhaps not too surprising, as the movie seems to be designed with the fans of the franchise in mind more so than mainstream movie critics, who are often wont to give popcorn horror flicks like this bad reviews. Maybe it was just a bit too much fan service for those unfamiliar with the games.


“If you want to see something that plays just like the video game, play the video game,” opines Rue Morgue’s Michael Gingold. This echoes Nick Schager of Variety, who adds, “Writer-director Johannes Roberts supplies plenty of fan service but scarce coherent plotting and even fewer scares.” Mike McGranaghan from Aisle Seat notes, “If you have to play a video game to fully understand a movie, it is not a good movie.” Another review from Midwest Film Journal’s Evan Dossey calls the movie a “migraine-inducing vortex of bad horror, incoherency, and annoying franchise references.”

Resident Evil- Welcome To Raccoon City

Via: Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City

While most critics weren’t on board, others saw the value in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. Being a fan only made the experience more enjoyable for some of them as well. As Sean Keane of CNET puts it, this is a movie that will “delight fans looking for a fun, Easter egg-filled ride through the first two games in the 25-year-old survival horror series.” The New York Post’s Johnny Oleksinski said, “It’s the first watchable entry in the series. For once, you don’t envy the lucky people who get killed by zombies.”

Related: Kaya Scodelario Details the Redfields’ Relationship in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Of course, as the late Ricky Nelson used to say, you can’t please everyone. Still, the hope is to please as much of the audience as possible, and it can sometimes be a difficult line to tow when rebooting an established franchise. Perhaps one mistake was to combine the stories of the original two video games into one movie, as it left little time to flesh out the characters a bit more fully. The issue with going that route is that Resident Evil 2 seems to be the most popular title of the classic games, so some fans may have been disappointed with the absence of Leon and Claire.

These bad reviews may harm Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City‘s chances at getting a sequel, but it can still happen if enough people head out to see the movie this weekend. Should a sequel be made, Johannes Roberts has teased incorporating elements of Resident Evil 4. For now, you can watch the new reboot in movie theaters after it premiered just ahead of Thanksgiving.

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