"28 Weeks Later"
Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
Written by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Rowan Joffe, Jesus Olmo and
Enrique Lopez Lavigne.
Starring Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner and Idris
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 5/15/07
Hey, for a sequel, "28 Weeks Later" does
enough of what made the first film,
"28 Days Later", great, even if it does it in a different way.
Sure, we get crazy, flesh-eating "zombies"--conveniently re-imagined
as a virus, to allow for these zombies to run just as fast as normal
humans--but, we also get to imagine a world where quarantine has
changed the lifestyle of those who have managed to survive in this
apocalyptic vision of the near future.
Strangely, the plot of "28 Weeks Later" is a
nearly-exact ripoff of the most recent "____ of the Dead" zombie
"Land of the Dead", as we get to see a world where a major city
has zoned off one neighborhood to make itself a "safe zone" where,
in "28 Weeks Later", the US military has taken over following the
awful events of the first film. Led by the exacting Commander
Stone (Idris Elba, from "The Wire"), the American military is trying
to make sure that the few hundred survivors of the initial "Rage"
virus epidemic are clean and able to start their new life in their
old home of London. Meanwhile, the safe zone's administrative
chief, a bloke named Don (Robert Carlyle) who escaped a pretty tight
zombie situation to open the film, waits at the safe zone's train
station for his two young children (Imogen Poots and Mackintosh
Muggleton), fresh off the boat from somewhere safe. Thanks to
some incredibly poor decision making, some people get infected, all
hell breaks loose, and then the movie turns into an action film as
we follow a handful of survivors as they try to make a break out of
The scares in "28 Weeks Later" are mostly
solid (although nothing beats that opening number) and the overall
character acting was slightly better than in the original.
Elba has presence, no doubt, and Carlyle is as reliable as always;
the supporting cast members (and, the ones we follow for the
majority of the film's second half) are good enough to make this
thing roll, thanks mainly to Jeremy Renner and Rose Byrne, who lead
the group of survivors on their way out of town to avoid being
chomped by zombies and firebombed by the military. The kid
actors aren't bad, innocents die quite well, and the general pacing
of things really kept me on edge, much like the first film.
The editing is almost as violent as the slaughter, with all of the
crazy camerawork and angles we get as we try to watch people getting
chomped; this did not make me sick, but it should have, that's for
And, as brains-turned-to-mute entertainment,
this is all you ask of "28 Weeks Later" anyway--a good-looking,
low-cal thriller where, even when it's over, you know you could
watch five more movies like this if they were reasonably well made,
and the ending leaves an opening for that. You realize
afterwards that much of the killing was amazingly senseless and a
decision by one of the kids at the very end of the film leaves you a
bit confused, but those are just details, right? If you like a
changeup to PG-13 "action" films and the inevitable family fare
coming down the pipe over the next few weeks, check this one out...
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard