28 Weeks Later (2007)

DVD Cover (Fox Atomic)
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Overall Rating 68%
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Ranked #536
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Connections: 28 Days Later

Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes according to plan. --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 13, 2007
The first film in this franchise, "28 Days Later", was directed by Danny Boyle and was the best horror film to come around since "The Blair Witch Project". What Boyle did was take zombies and turn them into non-stop killing machines. Up until that point, zombies had always been kind of slow and tedious - easily outrunable, yet always victorious somehow. George A. Romero thought that zombies were just scarier that way, and while "Night of the Living Dead" provers that true, there is just something enthralling about a zombie going ninety-to-nothing. Danny Boyle's creatures were not necessarily zombies though - a zombie is the walking dead. In Boyle's film, the creatures were ordinary people infected by the rage virus and turned into vicious, blood-thirsty killing machines. Boyle's film left us with our heroes in the countryside, having survived days and days of creature attacks, after finally escaping. "28 Weeks Later" is the sequel, directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, and picks up 28 weeks after the original outbreak. The film has been in development and productions for a while now, which usually means the finished product is somewhat deficient in some capacity. But, when early reviews started leaking about the excellence of the sequel, I was more than a little excited. "28 Weeks Later"? Could it be a worthy sequel to the original?

As mentioned, the film takes place 28 weeks after the original outbreak. The last infected person has been dead for months and London is still piled high with bodies. However, around 15,000 survivors are living in an area of London, safeguarded by American troops and basically living out their lives in a bubble until the rest of the city is deemed habitable. The film opens with a very fast, very gruesome sequence, of which I will reveal very little. We then switch to London, as a father (Robert Carlyle) is being reunited with his son (Mackintosh Muggleton) and daughter (Imogen Poots). Elsewhere in the containment zone, a scientist (Rose Byrne) is shocked to discover a woman who appears to have the virus, but has not been affected by it - she's merely a carrier. On the rooftops of the city, American troops spy on civilians with their scopes, one of those being Doyle (Jeremy Renner). Everything is gliding along peacefully until someone is infected again, forcing all of the survivors and military into a Code Red situation, which means that the military is eventually forced to kill anything and everything that moves. Most of the film centers around a small group of survivors trying to evacuate the city, on the run both from the hordes of creatures coming at them, and the American military, determined to kill anything that might be infected.

There is far more danger lurking around the corners in this film. The creatures are, of course, the most menacing, but the military is also seen as a real threat. It would be remiss of me not to mention the many similarities between this film and our current occupation of Iraq, so I will say that director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was probably not trying to go out on a limb with a political statement, but ended up inserting one anyway. The opening sequence, relying on very quick camera-work, the fast shudder, and very few glimpses of the actual creatures, is one of the most fast-paced and heart-pounding openings to any horror film of recent note. It definitely assures you that this is not your typical sequel. The sequences in London, with those apocalyptic empty streets from the original, continue to bedazzle. "28 Weeks Later" has a very claustrophobic, very paranoid feel about it, and it reminded me very much of "Day of the Dead". It seems like this franchise is very much following the same path as the Romero franchise - with one big exception - these creatures are far more threatening. When you see one of these creatures coming for you, the only thing you can do is run like hell and pray someone helps you before it catches you. The cinematography by Enrique Chediak is both beautiful and chilling, as he captures the isolationist feel of London under attack, as well as the beauty and the history of the city. He makes you not only feel sorry for the people being pursued by the creatures, but also for the devastated city itself.

No Cillian Murphy here to serve as my eye candy, and no Brendan Gleeson to bring us to tears, but the cast here does an outstanding job with the material. Robert Carlyle is always watchable, and he is exceptionally good here, given equal time to show how strong an actor he is, and equal time with those red contact lenses, ripping and tearing things to shreds. Jeremy Renner, from "Dahmer" and "S.W.A.T." does a fine job as Doyle, the American soldier who wants to get the children out of harms way. Mackintosh Muggleton and Imogen Poots (the unfortunately named kids in the film) also provide strong efforts and don't become annoying like a majority of child actors. Rose Byrne was really the only person I thought to be miscast. She just doesn't look old enough to be the kind of scientist she seems to be. I couldn't buy it. It kind of felt like Tara Reid trying to play a brilliant scientist in "Alone In the Dark". I didn't buy her, and I didn't buy Rose Byrne. And, since the creatures are a large portion of the cast, I have to say that the make-up effects were, once again, as top notch as you get. "28 Weeks Later" took the same premise as the first film, amplified it, and turned out one of the most engrossing horror films of the year.

All of that said, did I like it better than the original? No. The original is still the better film, because it better captures the original hysteria and psychotic nature of the idea of such an outbreak on a major city. The sequel, however, has nothing to be ashamed about. It's a different film, in purpose and in form, and it works on a totally different level than the first. I just wonder if this might be better served as a trilogy. I would love to see what happens to this story if the virus were to escape to other parts of the world. I would love to see what would happen if this was a global epidemic, rather than being isolated to Great Britain. "28 Weeks Later" will hopefully entertain fans of the original film, and maybe even convert some folks who have yet to see the original. You don't have to have seen the original to enjoy the sequel, but it certainly helps. I am still undecided as to how I am going to rate this sequel, so I probably won't come to any firm decision until I finish with this review and just do it. Part of me thinks a "9/10" might be too much, because I did have a big problem with Rose Byrne. Then again, I think a "8/10" might be too low. I really did enjoy the film and only liked it slightly less than the original. What the hell, I guess I'll just do it.

Crispy #1: Crispy - added 05/14/2007, 12:05 AM
I still argue that 28DL was not a zombie film. By definition, they weren't the dead that have risen, they were an infected person, and by archetype as you mentioned.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 05/14/2007, 10:22 AM
I agree. I mentioned that in my review. It is not a zombie film at all. But the similarities are still non-mistakable. "28 Days Later" was a plague picture.
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 05/20/2007, 09:05 PM
I was pretty disappointed in this one. It started off really well, then went down the shitter quick. And the ending felt really rushed, and I really could have cared less about any of the characters, save Doyle. I was pretty sad to see him go. 5/10
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 05/21/2007, 11:34 AM
28 Days Later" was a plague picture.

So's The Reaping :P
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 05/21/2007, 12:02 PM
No. "The Reaping" was a shit picture. Big difference.
Crispy #6: Crispy - added 05/21/2007, 01:46 PM
Haha, oh sorry. My mistake.
ThunderStruck5a #7: ThunderStruck5a - added 05/27/2007, 12:51 AM
this film was a lot worse than 28 Days Later (which was a great film). 28 Weeks had extremely shaky shots when the infected were attacking so it was hard to see what was happening (though it should have been fairly obvious). The ending was horrible and cut really short and made it seem like i had only been in the theatre for about an hour which left me with a cheated feeling. The cut off ending was almost as bad as the ending of Pirates of the Carribean 2.

The storyline was still pretty good here though and once again the 28 movies take the cake for having such a badass soundtrack. Many of the angles and 'not attack' shots were good too so the movie was not a total waste but it still isnt as good as bluemeanie rated it.

Chad #8: Chad - added 10/13/2007, 12:00 AM
Fuck this movie. 3/10 for a few bright spots, but otherwise... fuck this movie.
danimigra #9: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 06:09 PM
A piece of art..!!! just try to watch it... do it..!! please..!!!
billie #10: billie - added 03/18/2008, 09:06 PM
".........at first i didn't even want to watch this because i just knew that it wouldn't be as good as the first one but then i said fuck it. so i ordered it on demand and it was absolutely amazing. it starts off with action and there is an intense action zombie killing sequence in the beginning and the shit all takes place in water. WHAT???? from then on it kept you guessing and then with the lady being infected and all but still not being crazy and then him kissing her but than being all like,'oh, shit nigga.' (JK) it was super duper awesome and then the end was like oh shit don't tell me that the kids are crazy too. you guys who didn't like it are all retarded.........." -ME
Tristan #11: Tristan - added 03/05/2009, 11:05 PM
Just watched this for the first time since I saw it in theatres. Liked it a lot more this time.

grain of sand #12: grain of sand - added 04/14/2009, 01:27 AM
I saw this for the first time since I'd seen it in theatres and also enjoyed it a lot more than I had then.

the gore effects are ridiculously good and it's a pretty non-stop movie..

some of the cinematography was really annoying (shaky cam) and some of the cinematography was fucking beautiful.

Of course the original was better, but I had a great time with this one too.
8.5/10 for sure
Dametria #13: Dametria - added 06/02/2009, 11:29 PM
Ok, the plot is a bit blah. And I didnt really like ANY of the characters but for straight up Zombie mayhem and blood and guts (both of which I adore) it was pretty freakin sweet. I love the fact that when shit breaks out in England we send in the American troops to sort shit out....and when it gets out of control we wholesale slaughter em. The helecopter scene was supper duper spiffy by the way.

But everything aside I love love LOVE the first part of the movie when the guy is running to the river and zombies spill over the surrounding hills and the classic music starts playing..... gives me chills every time. Worth watching just for that and the helecopter scene.
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