US Release Date: 05-11-2007
Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
- Rose Byrne, as
- Jeremy Renner, as
- Sgt. Doyle
- Harold Perrineau, as
- Catherine McCormack, as
- Mackintosh Muggleton, as
- Idris Elba, as
- General Stone
- Imogen Poots, as
- Robert Carlyle as
Robert Carlyle in 28 Weeks Later.
The problem with most zombie movie sequels is that there really isn't anywhere different to go with the storyline. 28 Weeks Later doesn't even try. Instead it delivers more of the same, only on a bigger budget and on film this time rather than DV. Gone is the grainy look of the original. And since we already know about the Rage Virus also missing is that “what's gonna happen next?” feeling.
In a nutshell the virus seems to have run its course in the U.K. Approximately 6 months have passed and people have begun to move back to London to rebuild. All carriers of the virus are believed to be dead from starvation. An area of London has been designated as a safe zone, it is being protected by the U.S. Military.
The main characters this time are a teenage sister, her younger brother and their parents, also a female military doctor, a male military sniper and a male helicopter pilot. Of course before you can say London Bridge is falling down, all Hell breaks loose.
The intense action has been kicked up a notch from the first movie. It is also, I think, gorier. The scene with someone's eyeballs being gouged out comes immediately to mind. Also there is a spine chilling escape through a corpse filled subway tunnel, where a character uses the night vision scope on a rifle to see in the dark.
Easily the weakest point of the movie is the relationships between the characters. Motives and communications are a bit muddled at times. But this allows the quick, brutal pace to never let up. This movie is a rollercoaster ride, just get aboard and hang on for dear life.
Rose Byrne and Jeremy Renner in 28 Weeks Later.
This movie does have a great deal of action and is very fast paced. This is obviously to cover up for the fact that if you stop and think about it, this movie leaves too many questions left unanswered. As a huge fan of the first film I was very disappointed by this sequel. Apart from an exciting and frightening opening scene, the rest of the movie lacks bite.
My biggest question about this movie is, why don't the infected attack each other? In traditional zombie movies, undead zombies feast on the living, but here, they're all living, just infected with a virus that makes them extremely violent. So what prevents them from attacking each other?
Also, just what is the hurry in repopulating Britain? What's the point of bringing back 15,000 civilians before the country has been thoroughly cleaned? Apart, from having a large group of people who can then become infected, of course. And just why, when the infection breaks out, does the military gather all of the civilians together in one place, rather than leaving them inside the buildings they are in and guarding them there? Obviously because this is the only way that all of them can become infected at once, of course.
And while I agree with Patrick that the scene in the London Underground is tense, just why the hell did the doctor take the two kids down there? Taking two people into a dark area littered with corpses when the only way they have of seeing is through the scope of a rifle might make for some cool cinematography, but lacks good sense.
Finally, one of the infected follows the group of heroes as they travel across London and is able to do so with relative ease. He always shows up at the right moment. Apparently, his version of the virus still leaves him with enough sense to stalk people, which really isn't in line with what we've learned about the virus so far.
The ending of this movie is clearly setting itself up for a sequel. When that inevitably happens, I just hope the script is little tighter and doesn't leave so many unanswered questions.
Sgt. Doyle preparing to use a British citizen as bait in order to kill a fellow American? WTF?
I certainly did not intend to watch a zombie movie through political lenses, but 28 Weeks Later is so anti-American military that I could not ignore it.
The movie announces early on that U.S. lead, U.N. Forces are guarding the repatriated Brits. All of the soldiers who have lines are American. Where is the British military? No doubt they would have survived better than anyone else. Also, there was probably thousands of them stationed in other places of the world when the first outbreak occurred, not to mention all of the British sailors aboard their hundreds of ships.
Why did the writers use U.S. soldiers when the movie is British? My question did not take too long to get answered. Once the outbreak happens again, the U.S. soldiers start killing innocent civilians, right along with the zombies, so as to make it easier on them in making sure everyone infected is exterminated. I guess it is easier for a writer to make U.S. servicemen into bastards than it is British, after all, they would have been killing their own countrymen. Speaking of which, Doyle shoots and kills another soldier without first trying to contact him or even try to let him know that he is not infected. The fact that the soldier shoots at him, even under those circumstance, is extremely questionable at least.
Written by a Spaniard, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, and a Brit, Rowan Joffe, 28 Weeks Later makes the U.S. military as much of a monster as the infected. If the movie took place in The United States I would view it differently. The fact that they chose to use American soldiers, when the logical choice would have been British, is simply too obvious a commentary, and I found it to be quite offensive.
Photos © Copyright Fox Atomic (2007)