Netflix’s Resident Evil Series Is The Strongest Adaptation Yet

Netflix’s Resident Evil Series Is The Strongest Adaptation Yet

This post contains spoilers for Netflix’s Resident Evil. If you’re still not up to speed on the series, check out our spoiler-free Resident Evil Netflix review.

Netflix’s newly released Resident Evil series is an adaptation of Capcom’s world-renowned video game series that does a lot of things right. Showrunner Andrew Dabb finds a happy medium between original conceptualization and direct references to game mechanics or complexities, rooted in Umbrella’s signature virus strains. It falls between Paul WS Anderson’s non-canon route of advanced action and Johannes Roberts’ mirrored execution of survival horror cutscenes ripped straight from Capcom’s first two games. Dabb’s retooling as a Netflix TV show may seem like an even bigger change in terms of settings, characters, and timelines, but is it really? It’s the most Resident Evil-y adaptation we’ve seen so far.

Whether you’ve been playing Resident Evil games since the first STARS helicopter crashed outside Spencer Mansion or just know Anderson’s Hollywood remix of Capcom’s atmospheric haunted horrors, the Netflix show appeases both crowds. It may take place thirty years after the discovery of the T-Virus, but Lance Reddick’s Albert Wesker provides a link between the replayed stories and the newly infected dawns. The ultimate goal of adaptations is to tell an original story within a universe that has already caught on, utilizing what current fanbases love while engaging new viewers with understandable origins. Dabb’s Resident Evil retains the very essence of Capcom’s games, from its investigative puzzles to more shooting styles that were highlighted in Resident Evil 6.

Adhering to future timelines, Wesker – who, yes, canonically died in a fatal volcano incident – connects Dabb’s future dystopian outbreak to Umbrella’s notable sins. Although, it is Wesker’s daughters who emerge as prominent protagonists separated by his father’s childhood experiments. Young Billie (Siena Agudong) and Young Jade (Tamara Smart) help us understand Albert’s livelihood as a Wesker who took on father mode after Raccoon City. Adult Jade (Ella Balinska) and Adult Billie (Adeline Rudolph) explore life in an apocalypse where Umbrella acts ruthlessly, and University researchers search for ways to live among “zeroes” (what the show calls their infected hordes, also known as zombies).

The pillars of Resident Evil are fundamental: Umbrella, outbreaks, “zombies” and corruption. Anderson’s action blockbusters starring Milla Jovovich as a fictional Alice may have conditioned general audiences to believe otherwise, but Dabb is infinitely more focused on recreating that experience of being stuck trying to crack elaborate evidence or crack a code using collectible items. . From Resident Evil, where you control Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine by matching symbols to unlock mansion doors, to Ethan Hunt dodging a nightmarish fetus crawling through House Benevent’s basement, the game has always featured puzzle interactions. they are not fights. These “less exciting” elements sometimes ignored by media portrayals are the key to Dabb’s stories.

The Resident Evil movies in order (chronological)

In Episode 5, titled “Home Movies,” Dabb accurately summarizes Capcom’s strategic research experience with minimal emphasis on zombie defenses. Teenagers Billie and Jade are home alone in their New Raccoon City crib with one goal: to understand more about Albert Wesker, his family dynamics, and the secrets of Umbrella. What ensues is a series of clue retrievals and problem solving, while Jade’s crush Simon (Connor Gosatti) helps them avoid surveillance cameras via FaceTime. It’s not about smash and grab or zombie interruptions. Billie and Jade use intelligence and cunning to unlock milestones in Umbrella’s corruption, including evidence suggesting that Albert Wesker isn’t just some unassuming Umbrella scientist who gets excited about kombucha on tap. These situational challenges match the DNA of Resident Evil and comprise the games more smoothly than other adaptations that prefer to insert fan-favorite characters into undead shooting galleries.

Resident Evil isn’t made worse by its suburban bubble commentary nor is there a heavy focus on character dialogue outside of the core of the Resident Evil games. Readable diary entries reveal the wildest dumps of exposure, and scenes ramble on to kidnapped president’s daughters, brainwashed ex-partners, broken families – the character drama itself is at the core of each game. from Resident Evil. Most recently, Resident Evil Village sent thirsty gamers into exciting gothic heat with its voluptuous Amazonian vampire socialite, with nothing to do with zombies. However, Netflix’s Resident Evil is becoming criticized on IMDb Why did they dare to cast a Black Wesker and focus on their black children as protagonists? There’s no difference between Heisenberg and Lady Dimitrescu’s feuds or Billie and Jade’s rivalry in later times, except one is less threatening to demographics that have forgotten what Resident Evil is all about.

Dabb’s Resident Evil focuses more on the modifications of the T-Virus, its unstable mutations, and the effects of Umbrella’s genetic tests. In the first episode, a gigantic caterpillar burrows and viciously attacks Jade to remind us that Resident Evil is full of spliced ​​threats. Lickers, T-dogs, and a Tyrant are all there to reassure video game fans that they’ll see their greatest enemies come to life, but then a monstrous, mutated spider begins slaughtering intruders in its underground tunnel. Where Anderson builds his own post-Matrix world of zombie hordes, and Roberts sticks rigidly to William Birkin’s transformation into Monster Birkin, Dabb focuses more on environmental mutations while Umbrella plays God with global implications. Dabb understands Resident Evil as more than just “point a shotgun, shoot him in the head” in ways that feel connected to the sensibilities of the game franchise.

That’s not to sully Anderson or Robert’s adaptations. That’s the exciting part of having different creative teams reboot the same source materials: everyone’s performances can be played in private settings. Anderson’s franchise may be a convoluted mess of Alice’s heroism spliced ​​with subplots from games like the Nemesis Project, but the filmmaker uses Raccoon City and its aftermath to unleash some wickedly entertaining, adrenaline-pumping zombie combat. Then there’s Roberts’ adaptation, which in addition to Leon S. Kennedy’s awkward, bumbling officer persona and Jennifer Paige’s drop of a murderous needle, nails the one-on-one recreation of the destruction of Racoon City after Umbrella’s carelessness. Dabb finds a new avenue to accomplish what Roberts offers in a less blatant display of fan service as he honors Anderson’s spirit of expressive freedom by moving beyond the game series’ old but still recognizable news stories.

Netflix’s Resident Evil series is loaded with Easter Eggs for those who have played through Capcom’s entire catalog. Though the timelines remain largely in the future of 2036 or earlier in South Africa’s New Racoon City, we still have OG Wesker, a leather dad, a Lisa Trevor with eyes, and all after the G-Virus transformation, and callbacks to Arklay Mountains. As Jade is out of breath and facing a fundamental calm before the oncoming storms, the camera frames a typewriter at the bottom of the screen to suggest this would be a good time to save up, just in case. Then there are the evils like Chainsaw Man, the infectious Doberman, and Wesker’s mind control beetle seen in Resident Evil: Afterlife. The camera moves to highlight useful objects for the characters to mimic the precise, angular cinematography especially prominent in the early games, hinting at the show’s appreciation of the Capcom material as a kill shot.

CEO Evelyn Marcus (Paola Nuñez), the daughter of Umbrella legacy and T-Virus inventor James Marcus, is as ruthless and company-focused as any Resident Evil Umbrella scapegoat. Ditto Umbrella hitman Turlough Convery, ordering mass executions like it’s Tuesday. Dabb’s dedication to expanding the world of Resident Evil still lives, breathes and screams Capcom’s influence even as he reveals new additions, as if testing characters for upcoming DLC ​​packs. Lance Reddick’s Wesker comes up with a crushing point of comparison, while Marcus and Convery’s agent are blank canvases. Lesser shows would insert generic baddies that pale in comparison to the faces of familiar franchises, but not 2022’s Resident Evil. They’re cartoonishly evil cover-up addicts who’d rather drug their unwitting partners with trial pills than dare to see the price of pills drop. Umbrella stock.

Netflix’s Resident Evil represents everything “Resident Evil” in fresh (no festering) but sincerely familiar ways. For all its alterations, Andrew Dabb’s series is a marriage of what video game and movie audiences love. they know, or don’t, about Resident Evil, Paul WS Anderson used the lure of the title to corner the action junkie market, Johannes Roberts lifts up entire sequences like clay in a newspaper, and Dabb sees the value of combining both approaches The latest in a long series of Resident Evil adaptations may be the most faithful yet, as there’s a lot more to consider than “that doesn’t look like my favorite character.”

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