If you’re making a video game adaptation of a popular franchise, you better make sure you’re doing it right. Critics haven’t been kind to the Netflix series Resident Evil, which currently sits at 53% on Rotten Tomatoes. But just in case you thought this was going to be one of those situations where critics hate something but the “true fans” audience loves it, the opposite is true.
audience numbers are terrible for Resident Evil. Some of the lowest I’ve seen in service for a big show. The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is 22% and on IMDB a 3.4, both deeply awful at levels rarely seen.
To compare this to other poorly received Netflix shows, the famous superhero disaster Jupiter’s Legacy has a critic rating of 41% and a viewer rating of 73%. Space Force, the controversial comedy, has a 64% critic rating and a 77% viewer rating. Frequently appearing on lists of the “worst Netflix shows of all time,” Hates Back Off has a 50% critic rating and a 76% viewer rating. A comparable show is the CG Resident Evil series on Netflix, Infinite Darkness, but even that scored higher, 50% from critics and 39% from audiences. I’m telling you, I haven’t seen any other major series on Netflix that comes close to those numbers.
So what’s up?
I’ll say right away that we can’t rule out a certain amount of racist review bombing here. The show’s four leads are black actors and actresses, as the decision was made to cast the normally white Albert Wesker as Lance Reddick (who, by the way, is the best part of the show). There was a lot of fuss made about this in advance, so at least I can’t dismiss it as an a possible contribution factor here.
But the show is just… not good. Big Resident Evil fans will likely be disappointed that this is a totally original story that only pays cursory attention to the games, and it’s not even a “silly but fun” blockbuster like the Milla Jovovich films (which are on the box doing well Office, although viewership is still mediocre). Many fans don’t like the idea of Resident Evil trying to “reinvent itself for younger audiences,” which the teen-centric main storyline appears to be trying to do.
If you’re not a huge Resident Evil fan like me? It’s still not very good. Again, I appreciated a few performances like Reddicks and main villain played by Paola Núñez, but trying to think of this as just a sci-fi/zombie show with no greater connection to the source material doesn’t make it any better. There are far better zombie shows out there, even on Netflix itself (everyone watches Black Summer and Kingdom). I also take offense at the fact that Resident Evil season 1 ends on about five different cliffhangers without resolving anything and am extremely hopeful that it will be renewed for a second season, which with these results and Netflix doesn’t seem certain Cost – cut mood.
This is a mistake from top to bottom. And Resident Evil fans are the most unforgiving of them all. We’ll see what the fate of the show is after that and how long it can stay in the top 10.
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