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Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (NC16)

Starring Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Hannah John-Kamen, Tom Hooper, Neal McDonough

Directed by Johannes Roberts

Five years after Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the last of the Milla Jovovich-led adaptations of the popular video game series, the powers that be decide to give the property another go, this time with Johannes Roberts, the director of 47 Meters Down, at the helm. The latest reiteration sees Kaya Scodelario (Crawl) returning to her titular Midwestern hometown — aka ground zero of evil Umbrella Corporation’s zombie-making T-Virus outbreak — to warn estranged brother Robbie Amell (The Babysitter) of an impending disaster. But guess what? She’s too late! The movie is set in 1998 but it also feels like one made in 1998, as if the zombie-renaissance of the noughties never happened. (To be fair, the Jovovich-era movies are no paradigm of filmmaking either but at least some of the entries are fun to watch.) Video game fans, I’m guessing here, will get excited over the Easter eggs, whereas regular folks wonder if they deserve more than just fan service like decent zombie scares and gnarly zombie-slaying action. Sadly, both areas come up short. Then again, it’s so poorly lit that it’s hard to make sense of the mayhem. (Is this the fault of the DoP or the projectionist?) The characters, on top of being bland as fudge, are also not very bright. They say “I don’t know”, or words to that effect, a lot. Like Jon Snow, they know nothing. In one scene, after a tussle with a monster, one character tells another that he’s broken two ribs. The other character hugs him and asks, “Are you hurt?” Me: Er, lady, what did he just tell you? Cue eye-roll. At that point, it’s probably more enjoyable to just root for the army of the dead. (1.5/5 stars)

Photo: TPG News/Click Photos

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