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Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City Review: This Reboot Of The Videogame-Turned-Film Franchise Is So Boring You’ll Root For The Zombies

Plus reviews of 'Till We Meet Again', 'The Rescue,' Miracle: Letters to the President' and 'Anita'.

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City Review: This Reboot Of The Videogame-Turned-Film Franchise Is So Boring You’ll Root For The Zombies

Plus reviews of 'Till We Meet Again', 'The Rescue,' Miracle: Letters to the President' and 'Anita'.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (NC16)

Starring Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Hannah John-Kamen, Tom Hooper, Neal McDonough

Directed by Johannes Roberts

Five years after Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the last of the Milla Jovovich-led adaptations of the popular video game series, the powers that be decide to give the property another go, this time with Johannes Roberts, the director of 47 Meters Down, at the helm. The latest reiteration sees Kaya Scodelario (
Crawl) returning to her titular Midwestern hometown — aka ground zero of evil Umbrella Corporation’s zombie-making T-Virus outbreak — to warn estranged brother Robbie Amell (The Babysitter) of an impending disaster. But guess what? She’s too late! The movie is set in 1998 but it also feels like one made in 1998, as if the zombie-renaissance of the noughties never happened. (To be fair, the Jovovich-era movies are no paradigm of filmmaking either but at least some of the entries are fun to watch.) Video game fans, I’m guessing here, will get excited over the Easter eggs, whereas regular folks wonder if they deserve more than just fan service like decent zombie scares and gnarly zombie-slaying action. Sadly, both areas come up short. Then again, it’s so poorly lit that it’s hard to make sense of the mayhem. (Is this the fault of the DoP or the projectionist?) The characters, on top of being bland as fudge, are also not very bright. They say “I don’t know”, or words to that effect, a lot. Like Jon Snow, they know nothing. In one scene, after a tussle with a monster, one character tells another that he’s broken two ribs. The other character hugs him and asks, “Are you hurt?” Me: Er, lady, what did he just tell you? Cue eye-roll. At that point, it’s probably more enjoyable to just root for the army of the dead. (1.5/5 stars)

Photo: TPG News/Click Photos

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1 of 4 'Till We Meet Again': Gingle Wang meets-cute with Kai Ko in the afterworld.

Till We Meet Again (NC16)

Starring Kai Ko, Vivian Sung, Gingle Wang

Directed by Giddens Ko

Mixing You Are The Apple of My Eye’s bittersweet romance with Mon Mon Mon Monsters’ supernatural chills, Taiwanese novelist-turns-filmmaker Giddens Ko’s latest stars Kai Ko as an amnesiac soul stuck in the afterworld. To recover his memories, he works as a matchmaking god. But things get complicated when it involves his girlfriend (Vivian Sung) and his celestial partner (Gingle Wang). Led by a charismatic cast, the movie is playful and poignant but suffers some tonal turbulence when it runs into a subplot dealing with a vengeful spirit (Umin Boya). That, and a funny scene where a guy shags a motorbike. (3.5/5 stars)

Photo: Clover Films

  • 2 of 4 'The Rescue': This is not the best place to misplace your keys.

    The Rescue (PG)

    Directed by E Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

    ​​​​​​​Three years on, the Thai Cave Rescue continues to fascinate. Of all the big-screen projects it’s inspired, this doc by E Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the Oscar-winning team behind the vertigo-inducing
    Free Solo, is the first to arrive; Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, starring Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen, is due next year. What makes the story so remarkable isn’t the operation’s scale and complexity but that the best hope the trapped boys had was a group of amateur cave divers, not the military experts. These “hobbyists”-turned-rescuers are not unlike the oil drillers in Armageddon, except this took place underwater. (3.5/5 stars) Only at The Projector

    Photo: TPG News/Click Photos

  • 3 of 4 'Miracle: Letters to the President': Park Jeong-Min and Im Yoon-Ah are taking a break from studying.

    Miracle: Letters to the President (TBA)

    Starring Park Jeong-Min, Im Yoon-Ah

    Directed by Lee Jang-Hoon

    Hellbound’s Park Jeong-Min is 34 but somehow boyish-looking enough to pass off as a high-schooler in this melancholic coming-of-age drama set in 1988. He plays a socially awkward math prodigy obsessed with penning petitions to the authorities to get them to build a train station in his remote hometown. Turns out there’s a sad reason behind this fixation. The film is loosely based on a true story but as it progresses, you begin to wonder how much of it really happened and how much of it was cobbled together from Good Will Hunting, October Sky and even The Sixth Sense. (2.5/5 stars) On Singtel TV and StarHub Video-on-Demand

    Photo: tvN

  • 4 of 4 'Anita': Louise Wong gets ready for her close-up as Anita Mui.

    Anita (PG)

    Starring Louise Wong, Louis Koo, Terrance Lau, Fish Liew

    Directed by Longman Leung

    ​​​​​​​One doesn’t need to be a fan (psst, I’m not) to feel shortchanged by this by-the-numbers biopic starring model-turned-thesp Louise Wong as Anita Mui, the Cantopop queen who died in 2003 from cancer at age 40. The film treats Mui’s illustrious career — as singer, actress and social activist — in a cursory fashion, offering little insight into each stage (Mui’s friendship with Leslie Cheung belongs in a separate film). Elsewhere, the juxtaposition of footage of the real McCoy serves as a constant reminder of Wong’s shallow portrayal. At best, Anita is a greatest-hits showcase when it should’ve been a box-set roll-out. (2.5/5 stars)​​​​​​​

    Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment

    Related topics

    Stream it Movie Reviews Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Till We Meet Again The Rescue Anita Miracle: Letters to the President

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