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Johannes Roberts
Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Hannah John-Kamen
Writing Credits:
Johannes Roberts

Set in 1998, this origin story explores the secrets of the mysterious Spencer Mansion and the ill-fated Raccoon City.

Box Office:
$25 million.
Opening Weekend
$5,319,280 on 2803 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

108 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 2/8/2022

• “Replicating the DNA” Featurette
• “Cops, Corpses and Chaos” Featurette
• “Zombies, Lickers and the Horrors of Resident Evil” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 9, 2022)

Back in 2002, the popular Resident Evil series of video games leapt to movie screens with a tale that starred Milla Jovovich as the main character. It didn’t make a ton of money, but I guess it proved profitable enough to spawn a franchise that lasted a total of six flicks.

The Jovovich series concluded in 2016, but matters didn’t remain dormant for long. 2021 brought Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, a reboot sans Milla.

The Midwestern town called Raccoon City used to boast the lively economic presence of the Umbrella Corporation, a massive pharmaceutical company. When that business essentially departs, the location becomes a depressed wasteland.

In 1998, former resident Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) returns to visit her estranged brother Chris (Robbie Amell). Both lived in an orphanage and had some acquaintance with Umbrella because that company’s researcher Dr. William Birkin (Neal McDonough) experimented on fellow orphan Lisa Trevor (Marina Mazepa).

When Claire comes back, she doesn’t just find a town in the throes of economic decline. In addition, nefarious activities at Umbrella created literal monsters that now threaten humans.

Usually when a franchise goes into reboot mode, it’s because the original series petered out and the rights owners want to bring in new blood to generate new cash. However, that doesn’t fit the situation with Resident Evil.

The sixth entry – 2016’s Final Chapter - appears to have been the most successful of the bunch financially. With a fairly low $40 million budget, it brought in over $300 million worldwide, so it turned a tidy profit.

So why start from scratch? I would guess that Jovovich and filmmaker/husband Paul WS Anderson just didn’t want to make more movies. Both spent 14 years with the franchise, so if that’s the case, I can’t blame them.

Any hopes City might spawn a popular new series seem DOA, though, as the movie made a mere $38 million worldwide. Granted, because it came out during the pandemic, one wouldn’t expect the same ticket sales the film might’ve gotten in pre-COVID times, but that still seems like a pretty poor showing that makes a sequel seem questionable.

That doesn’t rule out a second flick in this reboot series, as the franchise’s built-in fanbase seems too substantial for the producers to ignore. Still, even with these caveats, one imagines they expected more than $38 million in sales.

I can’t fault fans who ignored City, as it provides a less than engaging tale. Elsewhere on this disc, writer/director Johannes Roberts tells us how hard he and the crew worked to make City a copy of the original games.

Roberts and company succeed, but I don’t mean that as a compliment. While City indeed often feels like a video game come to life, it rarely comes across as an engaging movie.

Face it: something that offers fun to play may not seem enjoyable to watch. Sure, I know that millions of people like to view “E Sports”, but the thrill there comes from the ability to see someone perform with skills the observer lacks as well as the competition involved.

A movie lacks either of those factors, so it needs to bring more than the basic visceral excitement of a game. City can’t do that.

I get the sense Roberts focused so hard on his desire to remain faithful to the games that he forgot to develop the characters and story into something worthy of a movie adaptation. City barely attempts a plot, and the roles seem sketchy at best.

While we get basics for both, City never manages to make either stimulating. Both the characters and the narrative exist as an excuse for gory action.

At its heart, City offers a zombie movie. That acts as a well-worn genre, so City needs to find something creative to stand out from the pack.

Outside of the connection to the video games, City lacks that fresh touch. Though it gives us some creatures that theoretically spice up the old tropes, most of it just comes across as same-old, same-old.

None of the actors manages to do much with their thin parts. Mostly we see a mix of attractive 20-somethings and they fail to come across as memorable.

Given his status as a veteran actor, I hoped McDonough might bring some kick to his villainous role. Unfortunately, he seems just as forgettable as the others.

Really, “forgettable” feels like the best term to describe City. It never becomes a terrible movie, but it lacks much creativity and ends up as just another zombie flick.

Footnote: a tag scene – and potential sequel lead-in – appears early in the end credtts.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio A-/ Bonus D+

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though more than watchable, the image seemed less dynamic than I expected.

Sharpness became a minor issue, as City lacked the detail I anticipated. While the movie almost always displayed good accuracy, it could seem a little tentative and didn’t portray the clarity I thought I’d get.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I witnessed no edge haloes. Source flaws also remained absent.

City opted for a heavy orange and teal orientation. These hues worked well enough given the visual design choices.

Blacks were dense and dark, but shadows seemed a little murky at times. Though acceptable, low-lights shots were not great. In the end, this was a satisfactory but unexceptional image.

The film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked well, as the movie’s many action scenes used the spectrum in an active manner. This meant a mix of standout moments.

With lots of creepy material and monster mayhem, the track boasted plenty of strong sequences, all of which worked nicely. Elements blended together well and moved around the channels in a smooth, tight manner.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was rich and full, while speech appeared natural and concise.

Effects showed excellent reproduction, with clean highs and deep low-end response. The soundtrack lived up to expectations for an action/horror flick of this sort.

The disc includes three featurettes, and Replicating the DNA runs 10 minutes, 58 seconds. It brings comments from writer/director Johannes Roberts, and actors Robbie Amell, Avan Jogia, Tom Hopper, Hannah John-Kamen, and Kaya Scodelario.

“DNA” looks at the video games and their adaptation as well as characters and various details/homage elements. A lot of this just relates how hard they worked to copy the games, so informational value seems spotty.

Cops, Corpses and Chaos spans eight minutes, six seconds and involves Jogia, Roberts, Amell, John-Kamen, Scodelario, and Hopper. “Chaos” covers story/characters along with cast and performances, Roberts’ approach to the flick and locations. This becomes a watchable but superficial reel

Finally, Zombies, Lickers and the Horrors of Resident Evil runs five minutes, 40 seconds and presents comments from Roberts, Amell, Jogia, Hooper, Scodelario, and John-Kamen.

This one looks at creature design and execution. A few decent details emerge but the tone remains fluffy.

The disc opens with ads for Spider-Man: No Way Home, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Don’t Breathe 2, Uncharted and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. No trailer for City appears here.

Only five years after the last movie in the franchise, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City reboots the franchise with a thud. This becomes a trite mix of action and horror that fails to go much of anywhere. The Blu-ray brings generally good visuals along with excellent audio and minor bonus materials. The flick fails to find anything creative to do with the genre.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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