Resident Evil began in 1996 as a hit video game, but the 2002 original movie kicked off a pop-culture phenomenon fueled by Milla Jovovich's zombie-killing bad-assery that continues to spur spinoffs and sequels to this day.
Enter Netflix, which is taking the franchise back to its gaming roots with a four-episode CGI-animated miniseries that largely ignores the movies and draws from famous gaming characters such as Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Lots of eyes are on this one, especially because Netflix is in post-production on its upcoming Resident Evil live-action series expected to premiere in early 2022.
While everyone has high hopes for the live-action series, fan and critic reactions on Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness have been mixed, to say the least, with complaints ranging from a lack of originality to the sidelining of female characters. PC Gamer compared the series to "a terrible cutscene you can't skip." Ouch.
Consider this a rundown of what went wrong. Vote up the most problematic elements.
- Photo: Netflix1
Leon and Claire Are Barely Together
Fans of the Resident Evil video games were more than ecstatic when it became clear that Infinite Darkness would bring together Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield in one animated miniseries to battle the zombies as one cohesive fighting force.
Of course, they're hardly ever together the entire series - until the climactic battle with Jason the Superzombie as he leaps from rafter to rafter trying to destroy the lab and expose the conspiracy.
As Leon fights him, Claire mostly shrieks and runs for her life until they land on top of each other and...
Is this a rom com now? If you were going to go there, then go there. But don't wait until the end of the series.315Missed the mark?
- Photo: Netflix2
Brutally Drawn and Quartered
Let's be honest: At under 2 hours in running time, this is just a movie split into four slices that are essentially Act 1, Act 2A, Act 2B and Act 3.
Why Netflix felt it needed to draw and quarter a perfectly legit film and call it a series is unclear, especially since it already has a live-action series in the works.
This could have just as well just been a movie. We all know it. And we didn't need to sit there skipping recaps every twenty-something minutes.211Missed the mark?
- Photo: Netflix3
Claire Gets Sidelined Early On
Claire Redfield is a beloved character from the Capcom video game series, and she deserves to be more than a seldom-on-screen incidental character who occasionally finds a clue or chases down the Defense Secretary in a hallway--but mostly wanders around aimlessly as Leon does all the fun stuff (like electrocute zombie rats in soon-to-explode submarines).
And then in the climactic ending, she finally steps up... oh wait, no. Actually she's duct taped to a chair and quite literally a damsel in distress.2410Missed the mark?
- Photo: Netflix4
Too Many Flashbacks
Look. We're all smart. We can follow complicated storylines.
But most mortal humans will spend the first half of this series confused about whether we're in the present day (2006, in this case), the past (around 2000 during the civil war in the fictional Panamstan bordering China) or somewhere in between.
Eventually, the flashbacks start to follow a pattern, and it all becomes clear what's going on. But the disorienting nature of the storytelling is almost as off-putting as the zombies themselves.2211Missed the mark?