28 Weeks Later Review
Written by: The Dude
A few weeks back, I saw the first 28 minutes of 28 Weeks Later. I had this to say about it: If the remaining 90 or so minutes are as captivating as the first 28, then we're all in for a treat. It brings me great pleasure to say that indeed, the remaining hour or so of film is captivating, dynamic, and creepy as hell. Damn this is a fine film.
It opens with Robert Carlyle and Catherine McCormack in a small cottage in the English countryside huddled with a group of survivors.. The survivors are sitting down for dinner when they hear a boy outside yelling for help. This is naturally followed by an attack. And oh my, what an attack it is. It's frantic, and crazy and brutal, and the onslaught seems never ending. Carlyle manages to escape, but with dire consequences. Then the title of the movie appears.
It is now 28 weeks later, and London is beginning to rebuild itself, despite almost total ruin. An American military team is leading the brigade in this rehabilitation. We're introduced to a few of the key military officials, including the yummy Rose Byrne as we're also introduced to the plan for bringing back residents to the hopefully safe city environment. Two of the incoming residents are Carlyle's children, who were on a trip overseas when the initial outbreak occurred. They all hope to rebuild their lives while London around also builds up.
While the people are slowly rebuilding their lives, it is discovered that due to a genetic abnormality, the rage virus can be carried by people without them turning into a rage infected crazy person. But the carrier can still transfer the virus to others. Naturally, this happens, and another outbreak is upon London. Instead of protecting the people, however, the military is told to eliminate everyone. A few plucky survivors, including our two children and some friendly American soldiers (Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau), have to make their way through rage infected streets and trigger happy soldiers trying to contain the outbreak. Is the survival of few worth the survival of many? Is the US military just a trigger happy lunatic brigade? These questions and more are asked in 28 Weeks Later.
Kudos go to director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, taking over the reins from Danny Boyle and doing an outstanding job. His camera never lets up, truly capturing the uneasiness of every environment in this ghost city. While it gets a little obnoxious during action scenes (where you just want to -and I did- yell "USE A TRIPOD" at the screen), in scenes of tension, it's top notch. At any given moment, something bad could happen. This movie doesn't play by conventional rules, and it shows. It leaks out of every frame. Man, this flick unnerved me. From frame one.
The performances are pretty solid, and everyone takes it seriously. While certain elements of the script should be taken with a grain of salt (The kids escaping out of the high security area; a certain infected member being able to track our heroes through the streets with patience and cunning), the filmmaking expertise on display far outweighs the negative concerns. This is the Dawn of the Dead to 28 Days Later's Night of the Living Dead. It tells a new story of the ever growing problem, but it knocks it out of the park. And yet, I think they should just leave it at this one. To further explore the story would take something away from these films, unless they can do it as differently, and as intense, as this film.
28 Weeks Later is a very creepy, very fun time at the movies. And I'm still creeped out just thinking about it.