28 Weeks Later...

"Very Good"

28 Weeks Later... Review


The grisly 28 Weeks Later... jettisons the director, cast, and recurring characters from the original film -- Danny Boyle's 2003 nightmare vision 28 Days Later -- and keeps only the franchise's dynamic plot device: a rage virus that, in seconds, turns unsuspecting citizens into violent zombies. It's an effective way to wipe the slate clean before more blood is splattered across it.

Spanish filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo structures his picture less like a conventional sequel and more like a "next chapter" in the horror saga, which might explain why this fresh, energized, and clever installment works better than it should.

If you can't recall the details of Days, don't fear. Title cards re-educate us on the first film's happenings, which shadowed a coma patient waking up to an apocalyptic London decimated by the aforementioned disease. Seven months after those actions, portions of the evacuated city have been decontaminated and prepped for reconstruction. People who ran for the hills are returning, slowly.

Among the survivors is Don (Robert Carlyle), the submissive father of Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton), who reunites with his children in the safe zone after narrowly escaping an attack. The kids ask what happened to Mom, and Don says she was claimed by The Infected -- a catchy moniker for the stalking creatures. The family settles into the green zone, a virus free area shared by fretful scientist Scarlet (Rose Byrne), soldier-with-a-conscience Doyle (Jeremy Renner), and a platoon of U.S.- and NATO-sponsored snipers ready to respond if the zombies were to worm their way back to Britain.

Fresnadillo improves on the grave new world of Days, building on the already impossible shots of a deserted, dilapidated London that Boyle first conjured. Weeks would provide audiences with a vibrant tour of the city's monumental landmarks -- Big Ben, Parliament, Wembley Stadium -- if not for the omnipresent corpses littering the cobblestone streets. Fresnadillo's production team creates a triumph of apocalyptic neglect that logically extends the death and destruction from the initial film.

Stability can't last for long, though, and screenwriter Rowan Joffe (assisted by Fresnadillo) comes up with a sharp method for reintroducing the virus, allowing all hell to break loose. The Infected storm the safe zone, creating some genuinely creepy scenes and ample amounts of gore. Buried deep in the chaos, though, Weeks finds a storyline worth exploring. Scarlet's research suggests that a cure might be found in Tammy and Andy's genes, so she commits to shuttling them out of London -- a task made harder by the presence of the marauding zombies and the military, now on "Code Red," ordered to kill anything that moves.

Carnage lures crowds to zombie pictures such as these, but Weeks excels when it explores deeper human reactions to the constricting situations created by the deadly infections. Fresnadillo slips twisted ideas into his script -- Don's conundrum regarding his wife establishes a great hook for what could have been a mindless monster movie, and obstacles preventing Scarlet's exit from London's safe zone are credible (at least, as credible as a zombie flick can be). Unfortunately, Fresnadillo loses his grip when he has to stage extreme chaos, and too many attack scenes are directed as if the cameras were mounted on the backs of running dogs. Why stage such action if you won't allow your audience to enjoy it?

Weeks recoups from these minor mistakes by making bold choices in the middle and third acts. The movie improves as the survival prognosis of the main characters worsens. And the way it's currently structured, the 28 franchise could last forever: The ending of this segment teases a potential location shift for the inevitable 28 Months installment.

One more day 'til garbage day.



28 Weeks Later...

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th May 2007

Box Office USA: $28.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $28.6M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Fox Atomic

Production compaines: Koan Films, Fox Atomic, DNA Films, UK Film Council, Figment Films, Sociedad General de Cine S.A.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Fresh: 132 Rotten: 55

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Tammy, as Don, as Scarlet, as Sergeant Doyle, as Flynn, as Alice, as General Stone, Mackintosh Muggleton as Andy, Amanda Walker as Sally, Shahid Ahmed as Jacob, Garfield Morgan as Geoff, Emily Beecham as Karen, Beans El-Balawi as Boy in Cottage (as Beans Balawi), Meghan Popiel as DLR Soldier, Stewart Alexander as Military Officer, Philip Bulcock as Senior Medical Officer, Chris Ryman as Rooftop Sniper, Tristan Tait as Soldier, William Meredith as Medical Officer, as Bunker Soldier, Thomas Garvey as Bunker Major, Tom Bodell as Medical Centre Lobby Soldier, Andrew Byron as Carpark Soldier, Sarah Finigan as Carpark Civilian, Roderic Culver as Carpark Civilian, Maeve Malley-Ryan as Carpark Civilian (as Maeve Ryan), Ed Coleman as Carpark Civilian, Karen Meagher as Carpark Civilian, Amanda Lawrence as Carpark Civilian, as Carpark Civilian, Drew Rhys-Williams as Carpark Civilian, as Sam, Kish Sharma as Depot Man, Jane Thorne as Depot Woman, Dean Alexandrou as Infected Person (uncredited), Didier Dell Benjamin as Civilian (uncredited), Gareth Clarke as Infected Person (uncredited), James Fiddy as Victim (uncredited), as Marine (uncredited), Daniel Jefferson as Civilian (uncredited), Debbie Kurup as Infected Person (uncredited), Selina Lo as Infected Person (uncredited), João Costa Menezes as Infected Person (uncredited), Jane Osborn as Infected Person (uncredited), Jude Poyer as Infected Person (uncredited), Joseph Ripley as Infected person (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.