Can Richard review three movies in just thirty seconds? Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new Disney animated movie “Encanto” and the videogame thrills of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the dynastic family drama “House of Gucci,” the new animated Disney film “Encanto,” the coming of age story “C’mon C’mon,” Peter Jackson’s 468 minute epic “The Beatles: Get Back” a.k.a. “Lord of the Ringos,” the videogame horrors of “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” and Halle Berry’s “Bruised.”
Gamers will recognize Raccoon City as the name of the once prosperous home base of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corp. That we’re talking about it on this page can only mean one thing, a new “Resident Evil” movie. The seventh film in the series, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” now playing in theatres, reboots the videogame-inspired franchise, taking the story back to the beginning.
Raccoon City once thrived. A company town, from the 1960s to the late 90s the Midwestern city grew and prospered as pharmaceutical giant Umbrella set up shop there, and invested heavily in infrastructure and the townsfolk, who made up the bulk of their employees.
Everything changed in 1998 when a genetically-altered organism named Queen Leech attacked the facility, kicking off a series of events that left the city a desolate wasteland with a zombie problem.
It’s into this world director Johannes Roberts drops college student Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) and rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia) on one terrifying night in Raccoon City. Claire has come to the dying city to locate her brother Chris (Robbie Amell). The T-virus, Umbrella’s top-secret biological weapon isn’t much of a secret anymore, and the infected residents of Raccoon City are now terrifying zombies. Over the course of one night Claire, Chris, and others from the video game series like Leon (Avan Jogia), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and Albert Wesker (Umbrella Academy’s Tom Hopper), fight to survive.
Adapted from the first and second “Resident Evil” games by Capcom, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” returns the series to its video game roots. The previous films emphasized action over horror. This time around Roberts reverts to scary vibe of the videogames, paying homage to both the games and vintage John Carpenter for the atmosphere of dread that builds throughout. Stylistically, as a videogame tribute, that approach works quite well.
As a movie, however, it comes up lacking. Despite some good gooey and gory zombie action and some fun action scenes, it takes too long to get where it is going. While we wait for the going to get good, we’re subjected to dialogue straight out of the Handbook of Horror Clichés and too much exposition.
The opening feels long winded and the ending rushed, but, especially for gamers looking for Easter Eggs, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” has enough moments in between to satisfy fans of the series.
Years from now when people look up the meaning of the word “unnecessary” in the dictionary the definition will be the synopsis of “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.”
In the original 2009 movie Blart (Kevin James) was living the life of a security guard—excuse me, Security Officer—at New Jersey’s West Orange Pavilion Mall after failing the physical portion of his State Trooper’s exam. He was a lovesick loser, unlucky at love and life.
Things have changed a bit since then. He’s still working security, but is flying high off his last major caper, single-handedly taking on a group of thugs who took over the mall and held his lady love hostage on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.
In the new film he’s in Las Vegas attending the Security Officer’s Convention. Tagging along is daughter (Raini Rodriguez) a teen working up the courage to spill the news that she’s leaving home for university in Los Angeles. On what should be one of the greatest nights of his life—delivering the keynote speech at the convention—duty calls when a disgruntled high roller (Neal McDonough), who lost a bundle on his last visit to the casino, kidnaps Blart’s daughter and attempts to recoup his money by stealing priceless art from the Wynn Hotel.
You have to wonder why Kevin James waited six years to make a Paul Blart sequel. After seeing number two I’m tempted to think it was to give people enough time to forget how brutally unfunny the first movie was. You have to hand it to him, however. With “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” he’s managed to top the first movie, making a comedy even more relentlessly unfunny than the first one.
There are, to be generous, about three laughs in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” all of which can be viewed in the trailer. The other 89 minutes are filler. The audience I saw it with seemed to be laughing out of pity rather than because anything in the movie is actually amusing.