Tuesday, May 15, 2007

28 Weeks Later: Not a Sequel

Three things before I start here:

1. Let me tell you that 28 Weeks Later is to 28 Days Later as chalk is to cheese. It shouldn't even be called a sequel.

2. 28 Weeks is vastly superior to 28 Days.

3. I've forgotten about Spider-Man 3 now, the satisfactory experience from 28 Weeks has expunged it from my memory.

The most terrifying invention of the 21st Century is not some new WMD chemical weapon or an iPhone; it's Fast Zombies.

Danny Boyle was rather adamant that his 28 Days zombies weren't really zombies as they weren't dead but just suffering from the effect of a virus that could potentially be cured unlike true zombies. I tend to disagree and call them zombies because they have their singular purpose: to get you, they infect or kill you like real zombies and they bleed out through their bodily orifices- sounds like zombies to me. Some folk didn't believe they were true zombies because they were fast- Boyle's zombies could run while true zombies were slow and lumbering. When Valve created their sequel to Half-Life, they made some of their new-improved zombies quite fast and they became twice as deadly and much more terrifying (bastards!). Zack Snyder jumped on the bandwagon and remade Dawn Of The Dead with fast zombies too and it worked.

Fast Zombies are fuckin' scary.

Alien sucked in comparison to Aliens, Why? Because Ripley and her crew were not a group of heavily armed combat marines with a magnificent array of weapons. I'm not to partial to what in video game terms is "survival horror" and I'm growing increasingly bored by it on screen. I'm not really entertained by a bunch of schoolkids or some Joe-Soap running from a monster-of-the-week. It's much better to have trained heavily-armed military personnel up against such beasties. Case-in-point: The greatest Werewolf movie ever made was Dog Soldiers.

28 Weeks Later has Boyle's zombies but there its similarity to the original ends. While 28 Days was a "Horror of Armageddon" film with a pinch of military combat. 28 Weeks is half a military combat film and half "Horror of Armageddon" and it's all the better for it. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo does an excellent job of surpassing the original and exceeding all expectations.

Just to sell you on the story: 28 Weeks Later picks up as you may gather, 28 Weeks after the Rage virus outbreak. The Rage victims have died of starvation by now and survivors have gathered to the East End of London where the mighty US Army has established fortifications and brought evacuees and others who were obviously not in Britain at the time of the initial outbreak. One of the survivors is Don (Robert Carlyle) who is reunited with his two children who were in Spain at a British refugee camp.

Obviously even with security the way it is there is inevitably a second outbreak. The military commander, Brigadier General Stone declares containment is lost and orders the Army to kill everyone, infected or not. Which is fuckin' awesome and exactly what I would do, but by different means. There's some excellent sniper action here and clear evidence that that the director has played many video games- which is a good thing.

One sniper is Sgt. Doyle (Jeremy Renner) who defies Stone's order rather than shoot a kid and so he and a group of people go on the run both from the zombies and the military. It does get a bit survival-horror halfway through the movie but Doyle is armed with an M4A1 so we have at least one character periodically spitting lead which kept my attention.

I think Renner works much better as a good guy here after seeing him in the dark-side in S.W.A.T. Robert Carlyle is excellent as guilt-ridden father after cowardly leaving his wife at the mercy of zombies. Sadly he is under utilised for half the film and he fails to impact on the screen as mush as he did when he was a Bond-villain. Mark Tildesley's production design especially the devastation of London is exquisite. John Murphy returns to deliver a vibrant electric score to supplement the spine-tingling narrative pace.

The body count thankfully high due to the carnage unleashed on screen. I will ask you to take note of something I've always wanted to see a helicopter do to people, but zombies will do instead. Don't miss this.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

this movie hasa lot of blood i heard. and that is fine with me

Anonymous said...

yeah the film definetly has huge relivence to a "survival,horror shoot em up" game, also i noticed blair witch relevence in the subway, lots of screaming, clostohpobic, and gritty first person camara shooting, now 28 weeks later... at the end it shows the virus obviously hit paris... sequel? i definetly think so...
and just to add... ive always been shit scared of the concept of zombies... the fort of being bitten all over, and basically mauled to death... but what scares me most about these? they fucking run... and fast... and scream, and there equiped with in-humane strengh, 10 outta 10 for the new geniouse impression of the word zombie...
i hope "28 month's later" will be just as good as it's predecessors...

The Philosopher said...

Yeah, 28 Weeks Later rocked for the first 30 minutes, then the movie vastly sucked from then on... It isn't a sequel because it shouldn't even have the name of 28 with it, and the first one was incredible.

Anonymous said...

Philosopher, you are a fucking retard. You must have been eating out your girlfriend after the first 30 minutes because you ultimately did not feel the intensity of this movie. If you want action, go replay the first 30 minutes over and over until you fucking get mutilated by your girlfriend's zombie coochie!!! biatch!!!

And what the hell do you retards (PLURAL) mean that it's not a sequel? Is it not clearly acknowledged based upon the time line explained in the FIRST 30 MINUTES? Deedeedee... oh maybe you were busy scratchin' your ass.

Anonymous said...

The film definitely has/had potential to be so much more, however so many mistakes made the film seem unfinished, for example,the infected are zombie like, driven by the basic need to feed, however their is obvious signs that the zombie like creatures have some memory, Robert carlyle, (after becoming infected) or his charachter seems to remeber and targets his son, i must admitt the way he was "popping" up here and their was quite tedious,a stable part for carlyle would have made the movie better.Also, the secuirty by the military should have been more strict.
On a more positive note, the inital plot is very good, and the concept of fast "zombies" is terrifying. Im looking forward to a sequal.

Anonymous said...

The movie kept me hooked, but mostly due to frustration. I don't care how politically connected Robert was, he should not had had clearance to a secure medical facility. And why weren't guards posted just outside her cell?! And how come none of them fired one shot upon see crazed Robert?! Now on to military protocol. Remember that gas that was sprayed "AFTER" blowing everything up. Why wasn't the population issued gas masks upon arriving(which they would have to carry at all times). So then in the event of an outbreak they put on they're gas masks and the gas is deployed, effectively killing all infected since the infected would obviously not wear a gas mask. It still kills me that they bomb the entire city, THEN deploy gas...thats so fucking stupid.

Anonymous said...

Good point guys.

Anonymous said...

bad point about the gas, wat if u get infected after uv put on ur mask? then every1s screwed all over again and uv lost a tactic, also gas is so much more dangerous than blowing the fuck out of everything, the cleanups way 2 hard, ul b walking round in masks for about a year.

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed it

Anonymous said...

I never really thought about all the gas and blowing things up sort of thing, but the movie, in my opinion was very good. Definately can't wait till 28 months later, or w/e its called comes out. 4.5*'s

ircd said...

I disagree. 28 days was far superior to 28 weeks. 28 days was believable and you could put yourself into the situation of the main characters. The loneliness of the first half of the fist movie was what got me hooked. He walked half way across London before he met ANYONE.

The second movie has been 'Americanized' and dumbed down for those who don't get the first movie. For example, they drop gas on London, that can somehow kill the zombies within seconds yet to protect yourself against it, all you need do is sit inside a car and put a coat over your mouth? That and the usual Hollywood running-from-an-explosion. Lets not even mention the whole thing of decapitating a ton of zombies with a helicopter rotor blade. Not believable at all, but entertaining non the less.

Anonymous said...

28 weeks later did rock for the first 30 mins. i agree, and after that, it DID suck balls. yeah it was grusome, yeah it had some good parts of course. amazing zombies for sure, i enjoyed it, and bought it. but the movie plot was stupid as hell, the father zombie was a joke, i mean, you cant even try to argue the point it was good, because it wasnt. an entertaining movie, but the overall movie line was garbage. i hope they have a new writer for the third....

Anonymous said...

nd 28 DAYS WAS better than 28 weeks for sure, i agree with commenter above definately.

Anonymous said...

28 weeks later was better but I liked both a lot!

Anonymous said...

28 Days was far more superior to the garbage of 28 Weeks! The first 15 minutes of 28 Weeks was awesome, but highly predictable and sloppy afterwards. Zombie dad??? LOL Give me a break!

renojonny775 said...

See, I thought 28 Weeks Later was vastly better than 28 Days Later.

And it IS a sequel, they just switch up the story line. They make it where everyone is concentrating to London, and the characters are somewhat changed.

I think that we can all imply that a sequel will come around in the next few years. And when it comes out, there will be even more and more viewers of the movie, as the trend has been started with this sequel... But the end of the movie tells it all.

Anonymous said...

this film is absolute shite. you're right, it's not a sequel, because it doesn't measure up to the first in any way.

Anonymous said...

Im really really surprised at this, possily the first positive review of 28 weeks i've ever seen.
Where the first has quality character development, a storyline that actually grips you and cinematography that makes you genuinely fearful.
28 weeks has guns, and shooting and americans saving the world.... and thats about it. There's no substance to it whatsoever, if you want an action movie, watch an action movie and not a horror.