Review : Resident Evil Infinite Darkness

Review :  Resident Evil Infinite DarknessPublished by Netflix on July 8, 2021
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller
Format: Netflix
one-half-stars

Federal agent Leon S. Kennedy teams up with TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield to investigate a zombie outbreak. Based on the popular video game series of the same name by Capcom.

As Resident Evil is one of my favorite game series, I decided to give Resident Evil Infinite Darkness, the latest show in the Resident Evil universe a try. As Resident Evil Infinite Darkness was only comprised of four episodes, each under an hour, I was able to binge it all in one very short sitting. I’m not sure why they didn’t just make it a movie, which would have made it feel a little less underwhelming, as I was looking forward to watching what I thought would be a full-length show. But the brevity of the show wasn’t the only disappointing factor in Resident Evil Infinite Darkness, as the series suffers from a lot of the same classic Capcom misfires.  For instance, everyone in this show but Leon S. Kennedy seems completely incapable of accomplishing anything without him, the “final boss” is pretty hilarious looking, and the show introduces and focuses on new characters instead of the much-marketed and famous duo, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Despite these factors, the show is fast-paced, relatively interesting, and does tie-in a bit with the rest of the Resident Evil series, and is a decent way to pass a few hours.

 

While Resident Evil Infinite Darkness does bring zombies to the White House, something that could be potentially catastrophic, it certainly doesn’t stay in the White House long. Instead, it follows agent Leon as he joins up with other federal agents, Jason and Shen-May on a top secret mission on a submarine. Obviously, as this is Resident Evil, disaster soon follows them. It’s mind-boggling how quickly Resident Evil Infinite Darkness deals with the chaos of being trapped in a building with bioweapons, but that is exactly what it does. The only thing scary about Resident Evil Infinite Darkness is how easily Leon makes his way through all the chaos, keeping his marvelous mane impeccable. But of course, not everything is as it appears, and Leon discovers, much later than Claire, that there’s more going on than he knew. 

 

 

Though Resident Evil Infinite Darkness is marketed as Leon and Claire, the dynamic duo from Resident Evil 2, teaming up again, Claire actually gets very little screen time in the show. Instead, Resident Evil focuses almost entirely on Leon and Jason, with some Shen-May sprinkled in. This constant addition of new characters is one of my biggest pet peeves about Capcom, who can never seem to realize that what people want is not a bunch of new characters that we don’t care about, but familiar faces joining up again to combat new and more menacing threats. So all of the used up time of Resident Evil Infinite Darkness that flashes back to Jason and Shen-May in their Army days feels even worse than “I don’t care about these people” because Claire-freaking-Redfield is completely removed from ninety percent of the action, and is seen only in brief moments, investigating a government conspiracy out of concern for the world’s safety. It’s also a slap in the face that all of this information that she finds would have saved Leon a whole lot of trouble, if he had actually stuck around and listened to her. Then again, no one in the show ever does listen to Claire, which is even more frustrating, as she’s the only person with a lick of sense.   

 

 

What’s even worse than Claire being ignored and sidelined, is that her screen time as the one required female character is largely taken up by a new character, Shen-May, who is a heck of a lot less capable than Claire. I guess Claire is sort of busy, as she, for reasons probably limited to storytelling convenience but also unknown to literally everyone, works for an NGO that seeks to help a fictional country, which Claire suspects has ties to a past outbreak. Though I was initially excited about the introduction of Shen-May, who I hoped would be as capable as other female greats in the series, an Army Veteran and current federal agent, I grew dismayed when time and time again, Leon had to save her life. Shen-May is knocked unconscious, hysterical and unable to act, or just making poor life choices left and right, which is not limited to View Spoiler »

 

 

One would assume Shen-May would have made it through basic training, Secret Service training, or literally any kind of training and would be able to defend herself, or at the very least, be able to keep her head in a combat situation. But unfortunately, that is very much not the case, and Shen-May is clearly Capcom’s token damsel-in-distress whose only purpose is to make the male character look like more of a badass by way of her own sheer helplessness and ineptitude. Meanwhile, Claire does more to defend herself, while completely unarmed, in her five seconds of actual screen time than Shen-May does throughout the entirety of the show. But the second Leon is near Miss Redfield, she suddenly needs a helping hand to save herself of course, because how else can the show display how heroic Leon is? Why do men always have to be heroic at the expense of female characters’ own agencies? Why can’t women be badasses right alongside these male characters? I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised, since Capcom has a record of relegating their female characters to damsels-in-constant-distress or to the background, but it really stung to see it happen to Claire. And don’t get me started on my laughter when she literally View Spoiler »

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, Leon is great, even with his ridiculously cheesy one-liners, but even he isn’t enough to save this show from itself. The main villain looks like the trolls from Frozen, somehow none of the protagonists know to shoot the obvious pulsing red spot on him, and he repeatedly states “I will show you fear” in the most cringeworthy and redundant exclamations that literally made me roll my eyes. I also don’t understand why said villain becomes a giant zombie monster, as it’s never specifically stated. One can assume that it’s from View Spoiler » Sadly, it just seems more like a case of the villain having to turn into a big bad guy for entertainment purposes, rather than any actual reasoning present in the writing.

 

It was also pretty pitiful that the show, after demonstrating constantly that Leon was an amazing  agent at every possible opportunity that the Resident Evil Infinite Darkness had to flat out tell audiences that he was a hero through a fellow agent, named Patrick. Of course, Patrick was initially a skeptic of Leon’s prowess and notoriety, but he too, has seen the light of the Sheer Awesomeness that is Leon S. Kennedy. Patrick then emphasizes to Leon—who, of course, humbly disagrees with Patrick’s assessment that he is a hero—that the President View Spoiler » on the mere eleventh hour and secondhand advice of Leon and decided to push for world peace. Sure, that seems completely realistic. So now not only is Leon an amazing secret agent man, ladies man, and professional zombie killer, he’s now also a close and trusted advisor to the President, who definitely doesn’t have a Cabinet or experts to advise him. Don’t get me wrong, I too, am a Leon stan, Mr. President, but you’re laying it on a little too thick, Capcom. 

 

 

I know Leon is capable of carrying an entire series on his back, but he just shouldn’t have to—let alone be so obviously and painfully forced to—and certainly not at the expense of other characters. But that’s exactly what happens in Resident Evil Infinite Darkness. Unfortunately, this show was in no shape or form a necessary addition to the Resident Evil timeline, even with the very, very small Easter eggs of Tricell, which hint at what was to come in Resident Evil 5 (a game that has been out for over a decade). After watching the entirety of Resident Evil Infinite Darkness, the main thing I took away from the show was the Claire Redfield deserves better, Capcom can definitely do better, and that you’re much, much better off playing Resident Evil 2 Remake if you want to enjoy the Resident Evil series, and Claire and Leon as characters.

 

 

Resident Evil Infinite Darkness is available now on Netflix.

 

one-half-stars
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Review : Resident Evil Infinite Darkness - Blogging with Dragons

Posted July 9, 2021 in Anime, Games, Watch

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