A generic Netflix series based on the game/movie franchise Resident Evil
“Resident Evil” migrates to Netflix as a very bleak series after seven live-action movies (including a reboot last year). Taking place in the present and future, it isn’t particularly engaging in either timeline, feeling more like a derivative of what’s already been done.
There’s not much reason to care about running from computer-generated creatures in the series, which stars Ella Balinska (the 2019 version of “Charlie’s Angels”) as Jade Wesker.
A long time ago, the world ended,” she says somberly, before cutting back and forth between her grown-up world and what happened in Raccoon City back then.
Unfortunately, the past mostly plays like another teen show, mixing issues from high school with suspicious happenings at the Umbrella Corp facility that employs Jade’s father.
In this laboratory, nothing good happens, and the question is, how has the deadly virus unleashed there brought about the ornate hell that Jade now finds herself in? Otherwise, we shouldn’t waste our time worrying about it.
“Assembled, Resident Evil” is generic, from the teen angst in that half of the story to the strange operative (Turlough Convery) on Jade’s trail and the hideous threats created by the virus.
After a half-dozen action-packed films, Milla Jovovich can probably attest to Balinska’s talent as a lead despite the restrictive nature of the script. This is one of those concepts where the right to use the “Resident Evil” name is more than half the battle for the producers.
As far as connecting with fans is concerned, that may be true only for Netflix. The latest adaptation, however, suggests that any aspirations beyond branding and commerce have ended long ago, just as in the pre-virus world Jade mentions.
The Netflix series “Resident Evil” premieres on July 14.
What you might have missed in Netflix’s Resident Evil
Right now, Netflix is streaming Resident Evil’s live-action series. Watch all eight episodes if you’re eager to watch. They’re addictive and very binge-worthy, so don’t delay! If you can, you’ll want to enter this series as unspoiled as possible.
The first season of Resident Evil contains spoilers
Andrew Dabb’s Resident Evil is a genuine labor of love, featuring many references to the original game series and even the movie. Each time you watch the show, you’re sure to notice something new.
This list is by no means comprehensive as I’m sure I’ve missed some things and will likely go back and update it as I rewatch the show, but fans should find some fun stuff related to the overall franchise below!
The 28th day after
As seen in the iconic and acclaimed zombie movie 28 Days Later, Resident Evil episode 1 in 2036 opens with a bridge scene that is very reminiscent of the famous bridge scene from Resident Evil episode 1. The skyline and Big Ben are in the background as Jade crosses the bridge.
City of the Raccoons
New Raccoon City is the focus of the 2022 timeline, but what happened to the old one? The show maintains the same canon as the game. After a T-Virus outbreak in 1998, Raccoon City was destroyed.
A nuclear missile was fired into the city to destroy it, but the umbrella told everybody the area was destroyed (but not why). In general, the story is similar to the game’s canon, but some differences may exist.
There are octagons
As the logo of the Umbrella Corporation resembles an octagon, Resident Evil is filled with octagons, from the picture frames scattered throughout the Wesker house to the silver earrings Jade wears in the first episode.
Although it may just be a coincidence, Jade and Billie’s dog is named Pablo, a nod to Pablo Kuntz, the voice actor who played Albert Wesker.
This is the Doberman
It is a direct homage to the 1996 original Resident Evil, the first game in the series, where Billie and Jade fight the infected Doberman. One of the scariest parts in the game is when a zombie dog jumps from a glass window! It appears the show is also influenced by the movie scene from the 2002 Resident Evil film.
Jade receives a letter from Albert with her name and address in the finale. A friend of the person who left the note tells her she can turn to him for help if she needs it. Ada Wong is the name. Fans of the games love Ada, the awesome and morally ambiguous spy character.
As well as appearing in many Resident Evil games, novels, and animated films, she has also appeared in other games and novels. Additionally, she was played by Li Bingbing in Resident Evil: Retribution. Seeing her in the show if it gets renewed would be great, but it would mean Jade would need to travel to Japan because that’s where Ada is.
Mountain range of Arklay
In 2005, a few years after the 1998 Raccoon City outbreak, Albert Wesker appears in a flashback in the Arklay Mountains. Multiple times in the games, Arklay is a pivotal location. This is the site of Oswell Spencer’s mansion and where Lisa Trevor is believed to have hid.
During episode 7, we see the real Albert Wesker in a flashback, asking one of his clones for an update on the “mind machine.” He likely referred to P30, the chemical compound that controlled Jill Valentine.
In Resident Evil: Afterlife, P30 was transformed into the Scarab machine. In Afterlife, Jill wears the Scarab on her chest, which may be a reference to Albert asking about the “chest mount” in the show.
Fans of the games and movies should recognize the name William Birkin from the show’s first season (maybe more than one). Among the leading virologists in the T-Virus study, he is a significant antagonist in the series.
There are a few references in the first season to the Golgotha Virus, albeit not by name (the inclusion of Lisa Trevor is an important part of how the G-Virus is mentioned). Evelyn also keeps a monster in a tank (that later escapes), and the creature looks a lot like Birkin’s early mutation after injecting himself with G-Virus.
Sonata in the light of the moon
Due to Albert’s creation of a scavenger hunt, Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” has special significance to Billie and Jade in the fifth episode. There are several references to the symphony in the Resident Evil games, including during the first game when the player has to play it to unlock a secret room. In addition, it appears in Resident Evil 5 and is apparently Oswell Spencer’s favorite song.
Resident Evil episode 5 shows Jade and Billie discovering a terrifying video showing Lisa Trevor’s footage on Albert’s computer. Her video game counterpart looks pretty much the same as her in real life. The video shows Albert administering something to Lisa, an umbrella test subject. She sports a giant, monstrous eyeball on her back, just as she does in the games.
These more extreme mutations are caused by the G-Virus (Golgotha Virus), which Lisa is infected with within the game. As a bioweapon, it was developed by an umbrella to fight the T-Virus. There are hints that the G-Virus will play a role later in the series, such as Lisa Trevor’s introduction, even if it is just in video and documents.
James Marcus’ daughter Evelyn Marcus is his daughter. It may even be James who escapes at the end of the season from the tank she has kept him in. The Umbrella Corp was founded by James, so it makes sense that Evelyn would try to follow in his footsteps.
The T-Virus was developed by James, a brilliant scientist, and virologist. Marcus is reborn in the games through an infected leech experiment that molds with his DNA, so it’ll be interesting to see if that happens in the series.
Among the game’s antagonists was Albert Wesker, a virologist. At least until episode 7, we get a very different Wesker. Albert Wesker is introduced as the real Albert Wesker. We learn he actually cloned himself, so both Billie and Jade’s dads are clones, as well as several others, including Bert.
In episode 7, we see Albert’s “real” counterpart in a flashback wearing the same clothes as his game counterpart-sunglasses, black gloves, a long black overcoat, etc.
As Bert reveals later, the original Albert was killed in a volcano, which is reminiscent of Chris Redfield and Shiva Alomar killing Albert and pushing him into the lava in Resident Evil 5. As you watch the final two episodes, you might notice that Billie Wesker’s outfit is very similar to the original Albert Wesker’s.
‘Resident Evil’ on Netflix is a time-hopping zombie story, yet human characters lack bite: TV review
Zombie shows have been reanimating on TV at an apocalyptic rate since AMC’s “The Walking Dead” sank its teeth into pop culture. All of these post-W “Walking Dead” shows had to reimagine the classic zombie story by experimenting with genre or setting.
Netflix alone has a huge number of shows and movies, such as Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead,” the Korean high school drama “All of Us Are Dead,” the period horror “Kingdom” and even the dark comedy “Santa Clarita Diet.” This is no different when it comes to Netflix’s “Resident Evil” series, which combines zombies with multiple timelines, teen drama, and a drug company bent on dominating the world.
With its haunting world and grotesque monsters, “Resident Evil” has been a horror game franchise for more than 25 years. Over the years, it has spawned numerous spinoffs, TV series, and a multi-film franchise starring Milla Jovovich.
‘Resident Evil’ on Netflix, on the other hand, takes an entirely different approach by emphasizing the twins Jade and Billie Wesker (Tamara Smart and Siena Agudong) and their distant dad Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick).
As Albert Wesker’s mysterious past unfolds, the series manages to produce some of the most compelling moments as it reimagines him as a cold, subtle father figure.
The storyline of “Resident Evil” is limited to Reddick’s appearance, as it shifts between the present day in New Raccoon City, another video game reference, to 2036, when a zombie virus has ravaged the world.
The show is driven by Albert Wesker’s pseudo antagonist/mad scientist/bad dad, in contrast to the other characters. When he’s not around, the show is as lifeless as a flesh-hungry zombie.
As the present-day storyline blends bland high school drama with pharmaceutical corruption, the future 2036 storyline, starring Ella Balinska as a traumatized and hardened adult, whiplashes between zombie guts and tired genre tropes.
Due to the future setting, there are some twists later on – mostly “Who is still alive in 2036?” — but the disparate zombie parts do not make a cohesive zombie whole.
While horror fans will relish the gory kills and zombie-animal hybrids in “Resident Evil,” undead fans will enjoy the zombie action in “Resident Evil.” In addition, there are several reanimated references in the game, like ferocious zombie dogs and an awkward chainsaw sequence.
While “Resident Evil” juggles too many storylines while failing to focus on one vision, it doesn’t reinvent the zombie wheel.
Those who enjoy apocalyptic tales may find some enjoyment in this tale. The show also features dynamic performances from Reddick, but his absence from scenes leaves viewers wanting more.