The struggle of adapting works that already have built-in fanbases is one of appeasing people who already know what they like. It was something that dogged the previous six movies in the Resident Evil film series–those movies are big, goofy fun, but they have very little to do with what fans of Resident Evil like about Resident Evil. The live-action franchise’s reboot, Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City goes hard in the other direction, but proves that sometimes being too faithful to the original work has its pitfalls, too.
Taking the Resident Evil games and mythos seriously is clearly a major consideration for Welcome To Raccoon City. This is a movie that adapts not one but two games in the franchise–Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2–and is littered with callbacks and references to both. Some sets and locations have been faithfully recreated, like the foyer of the Spencer Mansion or the front desk of the Raccoon City Police Department. Characters are similar to those of the games and find themselves in similar circumstances, with a lot of the same plot beats. It’s an adaptation that will have Resident Evil fans pointing at the screen, Leonardo DiCaprio meme-style, as they recognize Easter egg after Easter egg from the game series.
That’s not to say that Welcome To Raccoon City is a straight retelling of RE and RE2, however. It takes a few liberties with the characters and the setting, mostly for the better. One of the biggest, although perhaps the weakest, is that it smashes the two games’ stories together so they happen simultaneously during the same night in 1997, presumably because neither game has all that much actual story when you cut out wandering through darkened halls and shooting a lot of zombies. Here, we find a Raccoon City more or less propped up by the industrial and pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, but at the start of the film, the company is looking to relocate its headquarters. In doing so, Umbrella is economically killing the town.
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Source: Game Spot Mashup