On July 8th, Netflix released its adaptation of a well-known franchise: Resident Evil.
Even though video games and cinema haven’t always mixed well together, I held some hope in the idea of a T.V. series. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a CG-animated serialized drama featuring Leon and Claire, voiced by Nick Apostolides and Stephanie Panisello–the same folks from Resident Evil 2 Remake.
When I logged onto Netflix, I was surprised to learn the series had only four episodes just under a half-hour each. I shrugged my shoulders, dragged a friend who had no idea what Resident Evil was, and hit play.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness opens in a war-torn country named Penamstan–capturing a similar look and feel of U.S. troops in the Middle East. A group of soldiers drop from a helicopter and try to rescue a friendly. By the end of the scene, we see rebels celebrating over mutilated U.S. troops; however, as soon as a man lowered his torch to burn the bodies, their eyes open. Zombie time.
As the series progressed, Leon reunites with Claire for a brief moment before joining new characters like Jason, the “Hero” from the Penamstan civil war, and Shen-Mei at the White House. That is when, of course, the lights go out, and the zombies attack. The perspective hones right behind Leon’s shoulder as he races through the hallways to take them out; it almost made me feel like I playing a Resident Evil video game.
The episodes focused primarily on Leon’s adventure while little time is spent with Claire–who was usually depicted pinning photos and news clippings on a cork-board. Both aimed to solve a mysterious plot to release a new virus all while tensions between China and the United States are days away from imploding.
The first two episodes started off slowly, and the action and interesting twists starts to really pick up by the third. Speaking of action, Infinite Darkness felt more action heavy-than horror, with minimal jump scares. It still had its moments of white-knuckled intensity, but most of that was due to gun fights and explosions.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness’s plot was relatively predictable but still enjoyable. I feel that Resident Evil fans would appreciate Leon and Claire, and the cheesy lines that are well-known in the video game franchise; however, regular viewers could be left scratching their heads. Because I am familiar with the games, I also appreciated the nods to Raccoon City and the President’s daughter (whom Leon saved in Resident Evil 4).
I also felt that four episodes weren’t enough. Netflix squished an entire zombie virus plot and government conspiracy in under 112 minutes, and I believed if they stretched it out to eight or ten episodes, they could provide additional lore and depth that was sorely needed. The show heavily relied of a steady stream of flashbacks, revealing a little more each time.
Overall, the show was average. It was short enough where I didn’t feel like time had been wasted, and it maintained enough interest to binge it in one night. The graphics and voice acting were wonderful, and while the plot could’ve been more polished, they did leave a few loose end by the last episode–perhaps there will be a season two if it’s successful enough.
I also asked my friend, who never played a Resident Evil game, what he thought, and he actually enjoyed it! Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness has excelled more than the other video game movies that have bombed dismally, but it still fell short of a massive success. Overall, I still would recommend giving Leon and Claire and shot.
Have you watched Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness yet? If so, let us know what you think of it on our Boss Rush Discord!