Based on the video game series of the same name, Resident Evil (2022) is the latest Netflix release that follows the events of nearly three decades after the discovery of the T-virus, responsible for the mass zombie outbreak leading to the ruin of humanity. Developed by the Umbrella Corporation years ago, the show unleashes the behind-the-door secrets of the unknown that never came to light.
Marking this as a second installment of the franchise in the television format, Resident Evil commits the same mistake as its predecessor as it doesn’t even resemble the actual source material.
The show presents itself with a simple yet monotonous screenplay remaining non-linear as it constantly shifts between two different timelines of 2022 and 2036, both presenting different series of events. The two stories of different timelines remain aligned to the mass and major event of the outbreak that affects the present. On one hand, it reminisces the past as 14-year-old twin sisters Jade and Billie Weskar move into Racoon City, three months before the event of destruction and the consecutive events that follow afterward, while back in 2030, a now thirty-year-old Jade tries to inspect the behavioral pattern changes of those affected by the virus as to devise a survival plan to ensure that her well-being as well humanity existence remains relevant in the present time frame in a world where the human population has taken a serious hit, as they remain inferior in numbers to their affected counterparts with over 6 billion animals and people infected.
There are pacing issues all over the script and the screenplay as they are unable to balance out their narrative with events of the past (2022) filled with unimportant attributes and side plots, and the present (2036) trying too hard to establish the Resident Evil Esque vibe in modern times. The series suffers severe consequences as the difference between the two timelines remains significantly large. It tries to build up character relations only in the past as it strives to reserve almost all of the action for the present. The effect of such unevenness reflects upon the other components. Both the past and the present feel like a mismatch when put together in an uninspiring screenplay that relies on the franchise name to attract the audience. The apologetic scripts always rely on the occasional scare of danger to the protagonist to induce tense feelings for suspense that never build up otherwise. The story remains committed to only one thing: to remain convenient in the most unsubtly fashionable way possible aka the plot armor. There is never a moment in this dull series in which the interest seemed to peak as it constantly engages itself with annoying plot twists and circumstances.
The acting for the show remains one of the worst in Netflix’s big-budget adaptations. Each performance was either unnatural or over the top. Ella Balinska in particular delivered an uninteresting performance as Jade Wesker that failed to connect with the audience in every aspect as she remains emotionally numb in each scene. Both the plot and the protagonist didn’t seem to help each other as there is no takeaway as such. The only person who was somewhat decent in his role was Lance Reddick as Albert Wesker, who plays Jade and Billie’s father. At the very least, he looked firm and convincing in what he was doing.
The direction around the scenes is underwhelming as the camera work remains awkward, particularly in the close-up frames, with shaky cam coming into the picture. The action spectacles also don’t particularly always feel like they are well thought out with some movement remaining questionable. The soundtrack fails in capturing the ominous vibe as it is just complete noise, with it being played needlessly in between the scenes.
The only good thing about the series was the fact the costume design and the VFX team were fairly decent in their jobs as some of the zombies and creatures looked unsettling purely based on their appearances. However, the show doesn’t indulge in the horror aspect as one might like though.
It is unforgivable the way Netflix handled the series as it keeps on getting difficult to justify the point of the existence of the show. The series remains only for the hardcore fans of the franchise, but even they will not like it. And for the average viewers, just don’t watch it.
Final Score – [3/10]
Reviewed by - Devyansh Anand
Follow @AnandDevy on Twitter
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