Hot on the heels of Sony and Capcom’s announcement of a Resident Evil 4 new version to be released next year, Netflix released a new trailer for the upcoming franchise series. It’s safe to say that the bar for quality is raised sky high for this series. After the abomination was a movie franchise and the ridiculous 2021 movie that was supposed to stay true to the franchise, my heart can’t take any more disappointment in this beloved story. However, a big “but” looms. What is the difference between respecting the freedoms of a series and trying to appease fans with colorful images that they recognize?
First, let’s compare the trailers. Here is the trailer for the latest movie, Welcome to Raccoon City.
Here is the new trailer for the Netflix series.
Both the series and the movie appeal to established fans of the franchise with recognizable images and names. The 2021 movie has things like lickers, the first zombie in the game, and hot words like “itchy, tasty” and “Jill sandwich.” The upcoming series focuses more on familiar monsters like lickers, giant spiders, and mutated bugs. There was also a subtle tyrant at the end. Wesker is there. That’s where the similarities end, just from what we’ve seen so far.
Welcome to Raccoon City flashed fans in things like Claire’s red jacket and Brad’s vest. There were nods everywhere desperately trying to engage hardcore fans and make them happy, but that’s exactly what it feels like: desperation. That movie felt like a parody of the demonic resident franchise, even more so than the Paul WS Anderson movies. Sure, there were nods and the last two movies were a mix of RE characters jumping all over the screen while Milla Jovovich Street Fighter around them in circles, but by that time, those movies had moved to shark swimming territory. Not once did they seem meant to be taken seriously.
Welcome to Raccoon City was presented as the film that demonic resident fans had been waiting. Sure, we had the animated movies that were a million percent better than any live-action movie I could offer, but this movie was going to be THE demonic resident movie. Look at! There is a reference to that game you like! See, is there another? Sure, we left out some super important stuff and messed up some essential character personalities and motivations, but hey, JILL SANDWICH! As fans, we were supposed to forgive the mistakes for a few nods to the games.
The moment Leon hit the screen, I was over him. Leon S. Kennedy was a rookie worker on his first day, not some lazy hungover kid who wouldn’t notice a damn truck driving down the RPD front. And as angry as he was at Leon, he was furious at Wesker’s performance. Albert Wesker was ESSENTIAL in the timeline of the series. He wasn’t a stupid crooked cop, he was one of Umbrella’s top investigators who became head of STARS. He was a major player behind the T virus and the launch of Las Plagas in Africa after stealing it from Los Illuminados in Spain. The little part of him Welcome to Raccoon City it was an insult to demonic resident franchise.
The reason I’m hitting Wesker so hard brings us to the demonic resident Netflix series. When I heard that Lance Reddick was playing Wesker, I immediately said, “Yes!” For those people who complained that Wesker was supposed to have slicked back hair and sunglasses cared more about the aesthetics of the game than fair representation and I would recommend Welcome to Raccoon City for your viewing pleasure.
Wekser was corrupt from the start. He was an incredibly intelligent man who craved money and power and let them consume him. If anyone can portray that, it’s Lance Reddick. He can play a villain with such class and poise that I can’t wait to see the Albert Wesker of him. Now, in the new series, Wesker has two daughters. From the start, that’s a liberty taken for the series. Wesker only had one son, Jake, and I’m not even sure he knew about him.
At first glance, the trailer looks demonic resident with laboratories and boiler rooms and mutations, but the story seems to branch off in a different direction. Overall, the new Netflix series is looking very, very good. It feels more Resident Evil than the Anderson movies and Welcome to Raccoon City. The big question is, why are those liberties okay while the other movies were insults to the franchise? The answer is in the quality. Do the liberties of the series take away from the atmosphere and the core of the narrative? Are nods to the games done with respect by people who actually care about the stories of the games and less about selling tickets to people who recognize keywords and clothing from the games?
Truth be told this is all speculation until July when the premiere drops but based on the trailer alone the new series may however deviate from the story it seems to be in the same neighborhood as the games while the movies are spinning . circles and eating weeds in a field somewhere off the road. I care less about what my characters look like and more about these movies and shows staying close to the character motivations I’ve come to know and love over the years.
Welcome to Raccoon City they took so many liberties with the story but at the same time they were trying to show how much they got out of the games. You can’t let Leon step foot into Spencer Mansion and say that Birkin raised Chris and Claire, but then act like they’re respecting history. If you’re going to take liberties, take a completely different path, don’t wander around the shoulder kicking rocks and acting like you’re doing something for the fans.
You better believe when the first episode of the demonic resident falls of the series, I will be here with my opinions, giving you clear things. I have spent 26 years with this franchise. I have been there from the beginning. He is very near and dear to my heart, so seeing him dragged through the sewers by his hair is painful. Let’s cross all our fingers that the new series isn’t a steaming pile of garbage, like the other things that have force-fed us over the years. If you need me, I’ll be watching the animated movies.