The Netflix live action Resident Evil series, which is just called Resident Evil for simplicity’s sake, looked very much like a programme when we first saw it in May. Since it seemed quite suspect, my dear reader, many devoted fans of the brand were anxious about how it would pan out and whether it would damage the storied video game franchise.
The show will debut on Netflix tomorrow, so the moment to learn the answer is almost here (14 July). As a result, that also means that reviews from critics are now available, and it appears to have been a very polarising film.
IGN opened by saying that despite their reservations, the show “makes for an entertaining viewing for the largest Resident Evil diehards.” They concluded: “Resident Evil’s debut season offers a fresh, unique, and gripping narrative that gives plenty of possibility for a follow-up. The performances, spectacular effects, and overall storyline kept me wanting more despite the imbalance in quality and provide enough of interesting story lines to explore should it be revived for a second season.
However, Polygon wasn’t too thrilled, calling the show “boring” and “simply not that fun to watch.” They concluded that “Netflix’s series spends most of its time desperately trying to justify its own existence in the Resident Evil Universe, and none building a new story that’s worth caring about,” rather than using the world as a loose justification for the strange horrors that lurk in the shadows.
The show “does little to rise above what’s come before,” according to GamesRadar+, and “falls apart because to dubious creative decisions, inconsistent production quality, and an unusual refusal to dive into the source material’s enormous pool of narrative and mythology.” Even more forcefully, Collider asserted that “Netflix’s latest Resident Evil series might be the worst yet in a genre littered of subpar adaptations.” Ouch.
GameSpot, at the other end of the spectrum, called the show “the best adaption of the zombie genre ever.” Its storytelling strategy of unveiling the plot at two different points in time more than a decade apart keeps things original and fascinating, while following the protagonists through a looming apocalypse in hopeful future seasons should be thrilling to watch, they concluded their review. Overall, Resident Evil is definitely worth your time, and you might be shocked by how thoroughly it entangles you in its web.
How about that then? We all appear to have to wait to make our own decisions about this one, though we will have to do so very, very soon.
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