Netflix has a new number one show, Resident Evil, the live action “adaptation” of the games, though adaptation is in quotes there because it’s not actually adapting any specific game, just using the universe and a few of the character names, which is part of what makes it such a weird experiment.
The show is not reviewing well among critics, and its audience scores are off-the-charts low, driven by disappointed Resident Evil fans, and yet even among all the disdain for the series, everyone does seem to agree on one thing:
How about that Lance Reddick, huh?
In the show, Reddick plays a very un-game-like version of Albert Wesker, father to the series’ two teenage girls, and does a just…phenomenal job. This is especially true in the back third of the show when his Wesker is allowed to…expand his range, shall we say, without getting too deep into spoiler territory.
What Resident Evil does to me is prove what a gem Lance Reddick has been all these years. Chances are you’ve seen him across a bunch of things, but I feel like he’s not often given his due in leading roles. I first saw Reddick on The Wire, which I mean, how much better of a show can you star in? From there, he was a major part of Fringe, has been a key instrument in the John Wick series and was a fixture in Bosch for its run.
The other half of my job knows him from his work in video games, most notably as Sylens in the Horizon series, but his major role has been as Commander Zavala in Destiny 2, the leader of the Vanguard of that game for the seven years of its existence. While many members of that voice cast have moved on over the years, Reddick not only is still doing voicework practically every new season of the game, he’s an active player, and was recently on Netflix’s stream playing Destiny with friends to promote Resident Evil just this past week. As such, his devotion to the series has earned him millions of fans in the gaming world. As Bungie attempts to make Destiny 2 into a TV show or movie in the future, players only have one request, that Reddick is there to play Zavala.
I really do think that Reddick, and perhaps co-star Paola Nuñez, are the saving graces of Resident Evil, as they’re putting out great performances that marry drama with unexpected comedy, unfortunately against the backdrop of a show that is just not very good otherwise.
That said, if Lance Reddick is there, I’m there. We’ll see if he’s back for season 2 of Resident Evil, if Resident Evil gets a season 2 on Netflix.