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Resident Evil (2022) – Deadly Drab

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By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

It’s been 20 years since the first ‘Resident Evil’ movie starring Milla Jovovich came out and was one of my favorite action-horror movies as a school kid. However, the 2022 Netflix series ‘Resident Evil’ might make fans swear off from watching anything related to the franchise in the future.

Created by Andrew Dabb, the drab series flits between 2022 and 2036, and follows an annoyingly cocky Jade Wesker (Ella Ballinska) researching the T-virus. Eight episodes long, the flashbacks explain Jade and her sister Billie’s role in a global zombie breakout. Their father was a scientist with the Umbrella Corporation, the firm responsible for creating the T-virus. So while the scenes from the past unfold like an intriguing but slow thriller; the present day plot about Wesker trying to conduct research while goons from Umbrella Corporation constantly chase her, was extremely random, irritating and fast-forward worthy. Also, it’s hard to understand how Jade’s Caucasian looking sister Billie (Siena Agudong plays the younger version) grows up looking like an Asian woman (Adeline Rudolph)! No explanations for that glaring inconsistency in the first season, so it really bugs you as a viewer.

Look, horror fans completely understand they have to suspend logic if they want to enjoy a series like this, but ‘Resident Evil’ is BEYOND DUMB at points. The creators cook up their own absurd rules along the way, a lot of stuff makes no sense, especially Jade Wesker escaping death by a whisker a million times, all due to sheer luck and no amount of handwork, intelligence or diligence. On the contrary, the character is so reckless, you wish she would just die and someone would take charge as the lead. Also, unfortunately, Ella Ballinksa has neither the charm, nor the screen presence to headline a show. She feels more like a support character, whose head should’ve been chewed off mid-series. Perhaps someone like Sonequa Martin-Green (who playhs Sasha Williams in ‘The Walking Dead’) would’ve been more fitting as the protagonist.

Actor Lance Reddick who plays scientist Albert Wesker, father to Jade and Billie, and Paola Nunez as the evil Evelyn Marcus, head of Umbrella Corporation, are the only two actors in the cast that deliver watch-worthy performances. Reddick is intimidating as the morally grey scientist with a very dark past, while Nunez is quite the bitch as the neurotic power-hungry Evelyn. The actors playing younger versions of Jade and Billie do a decent job too, but their characters are written sloppily. They are supposed to be only 14, making them a little older, at least 16 or 17 would’ve been a little more in sync with their onscreen personalities and stories.

‘Resident Evil’ does have a few entertaining moments, but they are too few and far in between. Some action sequences that could’ve been worth watching are shot in really bad light. Even the zombies don’t get to do much. And most disappointing of all, we barely get to see any ground-zero action of how the breakout spread. The climax ends in a cliffhanger and but considering how frustrating most of the show was, I doubt a lot of viewers would care about a season two. I sure don’t. It’s best to skip this monstrosity. Or stream it on Netflix anyway. You have been warned. It’s a 4/10 from me.

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