Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness’ Mad Dogs are the Franchise’s Most Political Statement

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, now streaming on Netflix.

The Resident Evil franchise has always taken less-than-subtle shots at big corporations and capitalism, especially with its pharmaceutical angles with in-universe companies like Tricell and, of course, the Umbrella Corporation. This is always tied to secret politics, under-the-table deals and conspiracy cover-ups, as with the destruction of Raccoon City. Now, in Netflix's Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, the franchise makes its most political statement ever.

This is done using the paramilitary group, the Mad Dogs, who are treated as weapons to kickstart a world war by the corrupt Secretary of Defense, Wilson, who basically paints America as a threat to global security. The four episodes of the series play off of how the United States is seen by some as an international invader and conqueror with plans to misappropriate and destabilize, all beginning with Wilson's plan to occupy Penamstan, installing a regime he can control and exploit.

Resident Evil Infinite Darkness

This time, it's not the usual oil smash-and-grab the politicians want -- it's the people. These human resources are to be turned into bioweapons, zombies to attack the China border and instigate violence. The Mad Dogs end up being infected policing Penamstan, which basically acts as a petri dish, and from there, Wilson starts using them as his personal mercenaries to stoke the fire with China. The fact that he unleashes the leader, Jason, to manufacture tension is alarming, made even worse by Jason seeding out a zombie attack on the White House and faking a cyberattack by China as an act of provocation.

It's in this way that Infinite Darkness connects to real-world concerns Americans have of China using digital and chemical warfare, with Wilson buying into the hate wholesale. Though he works for Wilson's plan, Jason's bitter for different reasons, having seen not only his team get infected, but also witnessing America egg on Penamstan's self-destruction, with innocent civilians suffering and dying, all for petty politics. What makes this especially heartbreaking is how Wilson uses the people and infected Mad Dogs as a proof-of-concept to peddle his serum on the black market for other nations, so they too can create undead armies and destroy innocent lives.

The Mad Dogs are also a statement on domestic issues plaguing the American army. The group is blackmailed by Wilson with a serum to suppress their zombie side, and with no transparency and accountability, they end up running missions after getting home from duty.

This turns into domestic tours that lead to PTSD and most of them taking their lives, uncomfortably true-to-life for many veterans who return home and aren't taken care of, left to suffer life after war with little to no support, financially, emotionally or medically. Ultimately, how Wilson abuses the Mad Dogs and uses his own soldiers as guinea pigs pushes Jason over the edge, going from a war hero to a  terrorist who wants America destroyed, believing it's the only thing truly wrong with the world.

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is now available on Netflix.

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