Resident Evil (2022) review: A mixed-bag that would be better off without the label

In the action-horror series Resident Evil, Jade and Billie Wesker uncover dark secrets about the Umbrella Corporation as well as their own father. The show is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

The narrative is split up into two parts. The first is from 2022, when Jade and Billie Wesker arrive at the New Raccoon City, alongside their father, Albert, who is a scientist that does research for the company.

Over the course of the season, young Jade and Billie begin discovering secrets about the Umbrella Corporation and the events of the old Raccoon City.

Further complications occur when Billie is bit by a dog that was infected by the infamous Resident Evil trademark, the T-Virus. 

In 2036, an adult Jade reveals that the world ended in 2022 because of a T-Virus outbreak and she is one of the few survivors.

Her sister also survived but now works for Umbrella and the two are now at odds with each other.

Performances

Tamara Smart, as young Jade, and Siena Agudong, as the young Billie, give decent performances as the scared and curious teens, however, the latter has the edge as her character has more depth.

This is more even between Ella Balinska, as adult Jade, and Adeline Rudolph, as the adult Billie.

They are also matched well by Lance Reddick, who has to play multiple roles due to the nature of his character.

Positives

One of the elements that the show gets right is diversity. Right from the main cast to the Hollywood debut of Pakistani actor Ahad Raza Mir, this is a good representation of what the end of the world would look like and not white-washed.

The zombie apocalypse trope, although overused at this point, does give a slight intrigue and it’s not tough to sit through the series.

If considered separate from the Resident Evil franchise, the show does hold its own and actually gets quite engaging at different points.

Negatives

However, it does hold the label at the end of the day and will be disappointing for long-term fans of the games who simply crave for accurate portrayal of the games they love.

Not that it’s a terrible show on its own, but it does not bring out the best elements that the games have and instead makes it more of a ‘Netflix teen-storyline’.

The franchise already has lore that players are invested in, as well as characters that have been adored since long. The last thing fans wanted were new characters.

The narrative can also drag at multiple instances and the runtime feels a tad too long with each episode spanning an average of 50 minutes.

Verdict

If you can get yourself to forget that this is supposed to be Resident Evil, the show can easily be binged. However, if you expect a canon storyline, this adaptation isn’t the one.

Rating: 2.5/5


Also Read: Resident Evil (2022) ending explained: Is Jade Wesker dead or alive?