Friday, August 17, 2018

28 Weeks Later

by DLFerguson (writer), Brooklyn, New York, July 09, 2008


Movie Review


20th Century Fox

Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Screenplay by Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Jesus Olmo and E.L. Lavigne
Executive Producer: Danny Boyle
Produced by E.L. Lavigne, Andrew MacDonald, Allon Reich

Just to recap: In the first movie England is infested with the Rage Virus.  Those infected by the Rage Virus become homicidal killing machines with no desire other than to kill those not infected.  A bite from anyone infected is enough to turn a normal human into one of The Infected.  Our movie picks up 28 weeks after the initial outbreak of The Rage Virus.  A United States led NATO team appears to have things under control and people are returning to a previously deserted London to live in a secure area designated District One.  Among the citizens is Don (Robert Carlyle) who was forced to abandon his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) and a number of others at a deserted farmhouse when a mob of Infected broke in.  Don is overjoyed to discover that his children Tammy (Imogene Poots) and Andy (the wonderfully named Mackintosh Muggleton) are also alive and uninfected.  Don’s somewhat less overjoyed to find out that his Alice is also alive.  Somehow she was able to escape being torn to bits and returned to the house she lived in with her family.  You see, Don wasn’t exactly truthful with his kids about the circumstances of their mother’s alleged death and the kids naturally want some hard questions answered.

    Scarlet (Rose Byrne) is one of the chief medics in District One and she makes a startling discovery: Alice is not Infected but she does carry The Rage Virus, making her a Typhoid Mary.  It’s Scarlet’s theory that a cure could be discovered using her blood and the blood of her children.  But while Scarlet is trying to convince her superiors of this, Don sneaks into the secure lab where his wife is being examined.  He tenderly kisses her and the exchange of saliva is enough for Don to become Infected and that’s where things rapidly go to hell.  Don quickly spreads the virus to a number of others and soon hoards of Infected are rampaging through District One.  The order is given to start killing civilians.  An order that is disobeyed by sniper Doyle (Jeremy Renner) who makes plans with his helicopter pilot buddy Flynn (Harold Perrineau) to get out of London.  Flynn is forced to fly away to keep the helicopter safe and Doyle attempts to make it out on foot.  All power to District One is cut off and the decision is make to napalm all of London in a last ditch effort to destroy The Rage Virus once and for all.  Doyle hooks up with Scarlet who has rescued Tammy and Andy from their Infected father and along with a group of disposable supporting characters fight to make their way to safety before the city is destroyed.  Not only do they have to avoid The Infected but other snipers who unlike Doyle follow their orders. 

    Okay, let’s dive right into what I liked about 28 WEEKS LATER: I liked how even though it’s a direct sequel to the previous film we get an entirely new cast of characters to follow.  I liked the documentary look and feel of the movie.  I liked how everybody in the movie didn’t look movie star glamorous.  Everybody looks haggard, tired and scared.  I liked the unexpected twists and turns of the plot.  This isn’t a movie where you can safely predict who’s going to live and who’s going to die.

    Now here’s what I didn’t like about 28 WEEKS LATER: I didn’t like how even though we clearly see one character get snatched by The Infected, that character shows up 20 minutes later into the movie with no explanation for how that character survived.  I didn’t like how one character who gets Infected somehow evades snipers, napalm and poison gas to show up someplace where he has no business being.  I didn’t like how a major character is killed but you can’t even tell that character was actually killed until five minutes later.

    And that brings me to my major complaint with 28 WEEKS LATER: it’s damn near impossible to tell what’s going on in a lot of the scenes involving The Infected.  Apparently the director thought it that it would be just oh so cool to have the camera jiggling wildly all over the place when The Infected attack normal people.  I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of these “cool” directors who use handheld cameras trying to put their audience “in the middle of the action”.  If I want to be in the middle of the action I’ll attend a Ku Klux Klan cookout.  When I watch a movie I want to see what’s happening, who’s doing what and who they’re doing it to, thank you very much. 

    Don’t get me wrong: 28 WEEKS LATER isn’t as bad a movie as you might be getting from this review.  In fact, the first half is almost as good as the first movie.  But once we get to the second half where Doyle, Scarlet and the kids trying to escape from London is when the movie goes downhill because the so-called action scenes are just too confusing due to the frenzied camerawork.

    So should you see 28 WEEKS LATER?  I’m going to grudgingly say “Yes” if you saw and liked the first one.  It’s my hope that Danny Boyle will return to directing the third film “28 Months Later” and give the trilogy the proper sendoff it deserves.  Both “28 Days Later” and 28 WEEKS LATER are worthy 21st Century successors to George Romero’s Zombie movies and I’d really like to be able to give the third one a more enthusiastic review than I have for 28 WEEKS LATER.

Rated: R
99 minutes

About the Writer

DLFerguson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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