4.0 out of 5 stars No good dead goes unpunished
28 Days Later started strongly with the empty London (and those rats) and then drifted off with the dodgy Army unit. 28 Weeks Later also starts with a heart stopper as Begbie escapes the Infected by an act of betrayal. After the infection has died out (according to the dozy NATO doctors who clearly know nothing of sequels) the US Army reintroduces settlers in a controlled...
Published on 27 Oct. 2007 by Charles Vasey
3.0 out of 5 stars It has its moments but is not as good as it could have been
28 Days Later is certainly one of the most original and effective horror films of the last ten years. It also revitalised the stagnant zombie genre , though i feel it's fair to argue that the "infected" are not actually zombies at all. More like particularly committed football hooligans. Putting that rather spurious argument aside the film seemed to leave little room for...
Published on 15 Dec. 2007 by russell clarke
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3.0 out of 5 stars It has its moments but is not as good as it could have been,
28 Days Later is certainly one of the most original and effective horror films of the last ten years. It also revitalised the stagnant zombie genre , though i feel it's fair to argue that the "infected" are not actually zombies at all. More like particularly committed football hooligans. Putting that rather spurious argument aside the film seemed to leave little room for a sequel but Danny Boyle, director of the original film lest we forget, had been working on a screenplay but once an acceptable draft had been commissioned turned down the directors role wanting to work on his sci-fi epic "Sunshine".So director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo who helmed 2001 indie hit "Intacto" was given the job -though Danny Boyle did some work as a second unit director. The end result is a far more committed film in terms of sheer horror than 28 Days Later but one whose suspect plotting leaves it ultimately far less satisfying.
It must be stated that the film starts tremendously with a ten minute set piece centred around a remote farmhouse. Married couple Don (Robert Carlyle) and Alice (Catherine McCormack) are holed up in this isolated house with other survivors when a fellow survivor-a young boy- brings a horde of the infected which have been chasing him to the site . The infected break in and in a truly visceral sequence as the ravening horde swarm through the house Don abandons his wife and the young boy and flees across a neighbouring field with infected pursuing him , barely escaping with his life. This extended scene with the music of God Speed You Black Emperor blaring portentously is incredibly intense and the film never produces any else that comes close to matching it.
The film then shifts to the Isle Of Dogs in London where the USA military have set up a controlled quarantine zone and are steadily re-populating the area. Don who has gained a low level job in the zone is re-united with his two children Tammy ( Tammy Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) who were abroad at the time of the rage outbreak. Then Alice startlingly turns up, infected( Remarkably intact to say the last time we saw her saw her she was being ravaged by the infected) but immune to the effects of the virus. A doctor (Rose Byrne) realises how important Alice is to finding a cure for the virus which is how the script derelicts its duty by having this vitally important person left unguarded so her husband can visit her contract the virus and then run amok spreading the rapacious disease , so soon the whole area is swarming with infected. Here again the plot loses focus as the military decide on unilateral force to solve the crisis as they arbitrarily slaughter anyone within the zone in order to control the outbreak. Even the notoriously trigger happy American military machine would have more of a plan than that surely? That is, apart from one soldier (Jeremy Renner) who attempts to get a bunch of survivors -including Tammy and Andy( Whose importance as potential carriers of the anti-virus is paramount) to safety.
The film loses focus here, becoming one extended chase scene. Fresnadillo,s hyperactive editing makes half the action hard to discern and though some of it is genuinely horrific and it is generally well acted , it often subsides into ludicrousness with the constant re-appearance of Don and a scene involving a helicopter especially hard to swallow. The final coda is merely a sop to keep a potential franchise rolling with the lack of explanation for the scene smacking of laziness and the smell of possible big bucks.
28 Weeks Later is by no means a disaster, its energetic , staunchly shocking and well acted but with more attention to the script, tighter editing and less of a need to outdo the original film this could have been every bit as good.
4.0 out of 5 stars No good dead goes unpunished,
28 Days Later started strongly with the empty London (and those rats) and then drifted off with the dodgy Army unit. 28 Weeks Later also starts with a heart stopper as Begbie escapes the Infected by an act of betrayal. After the infection has died out (according to the dozy NATO doctors who clearly know nothing of sequels) the US Army reintroduces settlers in a controlled site. These are all people with a higher APS (Average Propensity to Scream) including Begbie's two children, who mysteriously don't have a Scots accent but do seem to have difficulty doing what they are told.
At this point the infection reappears by an ingenious plot device. The infection reinfects by an ingenious plot device, but victim zero then escapes manifesting an interesting talent for using ID cards while doing an impression of a man who's eaten too much chili. This is decidedly not an ingenious plot device and thereafter (until the last scene) I think the scriptwriter nipped out for 20 Rothmans and got his neighbour Keith to finish it off. All would be well still if everyone just Obeyed Orders but what would be the fun in that? Lots of shooting, chopping, screaming and a full body burn ensue. The escape is on including another non-ingenious plot device (avoiding poison gas - sit in a car!) and a lot of scenes shot in the dark.
The ending is marvellously grim.
4.0 out of 5 stars rage against the political machine?,
A worthy new chapter in the "28 xx later" saga depicting the rage virus impact on mainly London.
All the teasers are there.You just know that those awful kids are going to be the cause of the ensuing debacle from the first moment you see them.And when the disobedient little twits break out of the safety zone to go wander about a devastated London, you wait for the inevitable.Some teasing moments at an empty?pizza delivery place they enter wrack up the tension.But their return to their family home has neon lights around it as the event that will topple the dominoes.And so it ensues as they find good old mummy there, only she's not exactly the same as before.The poor American soldiers, once more dispatched to bail out the UK and die in the process, are soon overwhelmed when the virus re-asserts itself.
The rage virus is perhaps the ultimate reaction to this "nanny state" that our venal politicians have created during the last 10 years .It's certainly fun to think of it in this way.Maybe we will finally get so enraged at the latest intrusion in our lives and controlling efforts of politicians that the virus will spontaneously erupt in the populace. Now that would make a worthy new chapter as infected citizens snack on the denizens of parliament and councils across the land! Roll on the next chapter....
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as 28 days, but still worth seeing,
This film almost lives up to 28 Days but, in my opinion, concentrates more on the military trying to wipe out the new break out of "rage" by sheer force rather than the character based story which made 28 days so compelling. the plot is still very good following a new group of survivors, rather than following on jims story, which helped keep the film fresh. the main story centres about a young boy and girl who may have the same natural resistance to the virus that their mother did, following their attempts to survive the new outbreak and find refuge. There are a few anoying plot errors and holes, but these will only get in the way if you are a nit picker like myself. the only one most people will pick up on is the fact that the children are picked up in new wembley stadium, which at the the time this film is based (roughly 2001 -2003) was just starting to be built, however they enter a completely finnished (and for some time going by the overgrown grass depicted ) stadium. (really this means that if you want a stadium to be build on time, employ some zombies :P) other than this a very enjoyable movie worth the watch but not nearly as good as the original
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, a refreshing change,
It was great. Visually arresting, well-acted, and without the usual clichés that mark films like this.
I was expecting to see an Iraq allegory, with the US troops portrayed as gung-ho, bloodthirsty madmen, chasing after plucky Brits. Instead, the troops were presented as a mixed bunch, trying to do the right thing, and making some mistakes, but facing problems caused by rather stupid, selfish English people.
This film has some weaknesses, notably the idea that the original plague was confined to the UK, and that anyone would start trying to re-construct and re-populate after barely six months. Also, the shaky camera-work, and the sheer unclarity of much of the action, got irritating after a while.
But I loved the way the film avoided most of the Hollywood happy ending clichés. I was impressed that the film portrayed the US military neither as heroes, to please the US audience, nor crazed villains, to appease the anti-Bush/Iraq brigade.
This film was so much better than the poorly acted, poorly plotted, 28 Days, which started so well, but fell into pretty much every cliché you could think of.
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it better than DAYS...,
They put tons of energy and money to make it all look so real, and believable, then they give it an idiot-driven plot: the characters do idiotic things to keep the plot moving.
1. After being safely holed up for weeks, why would the zombies suddenly find the hiding house worth breaking into-and so EASILY?
2. D'ya really think 2 kids could escape a military quarantined compound ?
3. Why is the woman with immunity left alone in the dark in the infirmary, where you'd think dozens of doctors, nurses and guards would be hovering over her 24/7, constantly to check her condition/guard a valuable patient/get samples from? too preposterous.
4. How is it that-after code red, all the potential infectees are locked in a negative pressure 'safe room' yet the father breaks in via an unsealed loosely chained back door?
5. I dont recall exactly, but it was obvious that we will see 28 MONTHS LATER by the way it ended.
It would have been to have thought this a GREAT film, as opposed to 'pretty good'
I mean-were not all Americans here...
I was still impressed by it.
3.0 out of 5 stars ****SPOILERS****Average - not as good as the original ****SPOILERS****,
The first 40 minutes of this film are excellent. The film appears to be focused on the character of Don as he deals with the guilt of his cowardice from 28 weeks ago. You really feel for the character. I thought it was a really good twist - usually in movies the main character is brave and heroic, but here we have a character who reacted how most of us probably would have. But then this character dies. Well he's still in the film and I'm sure you can figure out how this is possible.
This is when the film falls into the convulted mess it is. The focus shifts from character to character - never allowing you enough time to truly get attached to any of them. And this is where the film falls flat. Characters.
If you enjoyed the 28 days later then you will probably like this one but its still only worth a rent. I really like the first one but I found 28 Weeks Later to be disappointing.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast flowing horror thriller,
In the sequel to 28 days later, the rage virus has passed, the infected have all died and Americans come to England to restore the country.
28 days later showed the true ideology of horror, and British cinema at its best, and 28 weeks later outshines its predecessor with faster direction, closer looks at characters and a more action thriller typed genre to its plot.
Following on from the dramatic ideology of 28 days with the infected was brilliant, and we start by looking at another family who are hiding, in the complete darkness. The narrative never lacks, with the whole concept of danger keeping you on the edge of your seat all the way through. Not necessarily scary, but it will definitely play on your mind. The ending with the new stadium felt like a marketing promotion, but was still good to watch. The plot has action, suspense and drama, to make an ultimate thriller, with plenty of gory blood encoded for dramatic effect, which is helped along by stunning direction.
Danny Boyle's direction in 28 days was superb, unusual and different, particularly the opening sequences as the central character is alone in England, with the character a little man in a huge city. Fresnadillo's direction in this sequel is equally impressive, using similar shots to create the lonely and deserted effect. In contrast Fresnadillo's direction is faster and less focused, especially when the infected are involved, conforming brilliantly to the horror thriller genres. These films wouldn't have had the same impact if this style of direction hadn't been encoded, and is a film where you can really appreciate the atmospheric view of the situation.
Having Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) star gave the film the extra credit it needed, with a fine performance as Don. He did exceptionally well, and gave a different and intriguing portrayal as a struggling family man.
Carlyle is helped along by stunning performances by all cast, but in particular Muggleton and Poots, who play Don's kids, two of the best young performances you will ever see in a British film, only behind Tom Turgoose in This is England.
28 weeks later is a fine sequel, fast and flowing, and though not necessarily scary, is a thoroughly entertaining British film.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Premise Carrot but Enormous Stupid Stick,
On the surface, 28 Weeks Later looks like a case of a hit movie spawning a sequel after some accountant types looked at their receipts and saw a large sized cash-cow lowing beside a moderate sized bucket. 28 Days Later had a fairly open ending, admittedly, but the implication was that the infected were dying off, Britain alone had been affected, and that rescue of some sort was in the offing for the traumatised heroes of the first flick.
So a sequel looks unnecessary but, in fairness, 28 Weeks Later does an excellent job of riveting your attention as it shifts from a low-key, character-led opening to a full-on Infected attack that sees Robert Carlisle's Donny alone survive, and leaves him with rather a lot of guilt. Fast forward six months as London begins to get repopulated under the auspices of a NATO military force...of Americans...and Donny is reunited with his children and before terribly long confronted with his past actions and the threat of a whole new outbreak of the Rage virus.
What 28 Weeks Later does brilliantly in its first half hour or so is build up an impressive powder keg of dramatic tension, marry it to the threat of the return of the world's favourite blood-spewing super-zombies and then light a trail of gunpowder which you follow with a nerve-jangled eye to the big brown blasting point...which gets obliterated by a bombardment of howitzer shells and napalm, not only sweeping aside my anachronistic metaphor but pretty much all pretensions of cleverness, art and interest the film had so painstakingly assembled.
In all fairness, the film isn't terrible: it still has its moments, such as the scene where snipers try to pick off the Infected amongst a crowd of panicking civilians, but such sequences lose impact when their sandwiched between moments of skull-bruising stupidity. One of the most sensible things that 28 Days Later did was to eschew any extended effort to depict the spread of the pandemic. The sequel has to show how it spreads from one zombie to tons of the damned things, but this is done through the (quite literally) unbelievable stupidity of the military and the introduction of decomposing horror cliche the Super-Zombie. Since the Infected are already sort of super-zombies, I suppose that would be the Super-Super-Zombie. Yup, the first Infected body in the movie becomes a sort of slasher villain, stalking the protagonists throughout the movie whilst dodging patrols, bullets and the odd bit of carpet-bombing and gassing, whilst mysteriously turning up wherever the protagonists might least expect without the aid of more than his trusty pins. It is utterly incongruous compared to the world established by 28 Days Later and is a frankly risible device.
I could list a number of other bad things, but I'll restrain myself to pointing out that after blowing its promise and cheapening its premise through a number of ludicrous set pieces, the film reaches an ending that is both unnecessarily mean-spirited and leaves the franchise disgustingly wide open for another utterly unnecessary sequel.
To sum up, 28 Weeks Later is a good looking film which boasts some good performances and some excellent set pieces with a first half hour that is close to brilliance and warrants two stars alone (since I have to give it stars). But then it veers into cliched territory and offers a mixed bag of engaging material and scenes infected with The Stupid. If you love 28 Days Later with a devotion to make dogs hanging round the graves of their masters feel embarrassed, then I'd suggest you avoid this; for the determined to view I'd suggest that you brace yourself for a bumpy ride.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For horror fans only,
If 28 days Later was a good but flawed film, this is an average but fatally flawed sequel.
The idea of a sequel is, for once, justified because we needed to see how further England has decayed since the events of the first film, however I don't think the action here takes place further enough into the future, I'd have liked to have seen London in ruin, overgrown plant life everywhere (a la Day of the Triffids). Instead we see London just a few short months later as the the U.S. try to get things back to normal. The start isn't too bad, Robert Carlyle's initial scenes weren't really the straightforward acts of cowardice I'd been led to believe they were and I think that worked really well within the story, and even the re-emergence of the disease is reasonably well thought out. Where the film goes to pot is in the final act, basically the action scenes. Whilst these are quite exciting they also, especially for Londoners, make absolutely no sense whatsoever, you'd think the place was the size of a rural village with the speed people manage to get around it. The actions of the main heroes don't make a great deal of sense either. To cap things off the final "twist" is just dreadful. I don't think this would be a bad film to watch whilst well lubricated and I'm sure fans of gory special effects will go away well pleased but for the general punter it's a real disappointment.
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28 Weeks Later [Blu-ray]  by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Blu-ray - 2007)