The latest adaptation of the popular Resident Evil franchise releases today on Netflix and reviewers had some choice words to say about it.
As a general rule, we’ve found that fans of the games were not fans of this series, even before it came out. Comments on the teaser trailers include, “When can we have people that actually played the game make these shows/movies?” to “It’s actually remarkable how many studios and companies try to make a Resident Evil thing, refuse to just copy the game, end up with a poorly received flop and then do it all over again. Real talk.”
Yikes. But the professional critics might look at this series in a different light. Or not. Although a few reviews of the new series were actually a bit positive (like GameSpot’s 9/10 score), the majority of them were quite negative.
Here’s a list of both positive and negative reviews we’ve found on the show.
“Resident Evil as a universe has such a rich history, with decades worth of characters, stories, and mysteries to dive into. Netflix’s Resident Evil does its best to integrate these into a more expansive series but flounders under poor execution, awkward performances, and fan service that rarely works. There’s a great Resident Evil adaptation in here somewhere, but like the zeroes scattered throughout this show, Resident Evil mostly just bites.”
Digital Trends: No Score
“Those willing to look at the series with a more open mind, though, shouldn’t be troubled by its application of Resident Evil game lore. What they are likely to find difficult to stomach is the series’ frustratingly disconnected tone as it pivots — perhaps too frequently — back and forth in time.”
The Guardian: 4/5
“Every scene is a cliffhanger. The end of every episode is a bigger cliffhanger. You will binge-watch like you have never binge-watched before. If it is your sort of thing in even the slightest way (and, if it is not, I suggest you give it a go anyway), you will enjoy yourself so freaking much. There are times when only repeated, meaningless zombie massacres will do – and 2016+ is undoubtedly one of them.”
The Independent: 4/10
“The whole thing is shonky. The writing, by necessity, is largely expository and clichéd (‘Scientists said the world would end in 2036,’ Jade’s opening monologue announces. ‘But they were wrong: the world ended a long time ago’), though they also find room for some weird asides, courtesy, mainly, of Paola Núñez’s very evil Evelyn Marcus.”
“While this might not be the first Resident Evil adaptation, it’s off to a strong start to claim the award for best adaptation we’ve yet seen. That’s not a shot at the beloved movie franchise, but simply a nod to the idea that Netflix’s take feels more at home in the video game world. Its storytelling approach of unfolding the plot at two separate points in time over a decade apart keeps things unique and engaging, while tracking the characters through an impending apocalypse in hopeful future seasons should be thrilling to watch–provided Netflix doesn’t cancel the show as it has a number of other high-profile series (anyone else remember Cowboy Bebop?). In all, Resident Evil is well worth your time and, ultimately, you may be very surprised by how deeply it draws you into its web.”
“If the plot to the new Resident Evil series on Netflix sounds like it came straight off your Uncle Kevin’s lockdown Facebook feed, that’s because it’s essentially an anti-vaxxer’s dystopian dreamworld.”
The Telegraph: 4/5
“The production values for Racoon City, for instance, are more Hollyoaks than HBO. And yet the CGI zombies are wonderfully abominable and the pace cranks up a gear whenever they lumber into view. Low-key political commentary has meanwhile been smuggled into sequences in which the citizens of a crumbling UK try to flee across the Channel to the promised land of Calais.
Don’t worry – you can ignore that. Resident Evil is a zombie caper that knows what it’s here for. And that is to fill the screen with rampaging hordes of undead and to reassure horror fans that there is life after The Walking Dead.”
Hidden Remote: 7.5/10
“Resident Evil on Netflix is better than any movie this franchise has ever had, bringing something unexpectedly interesting and intriguing that despite not being fantastic, manages to amuse the viewer.”
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