Movie Name: 28 Weeks Later
Studio: Fox Atomic
Release Date(s): May 11, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
The quarantine of Great Britain is over, and the U.S. military is aiding the in repopulation efforts in London. Having left his wife (Catherine McCormack) for dead, Don (Robert Carlyle) now finds himself in charge of one of the primary living quarters in London and is reunited with his children Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) and Tammy (Imogen Poots). When Don’s wife is revealed to be alive, Scarlet (Rose Byrne) finds she has an unusual genetic protection against the virus but remains a carrier. Don is infected when he encounters his wife and now the horror is beginning again…and government orders are that no one is to be left alive.
Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 28 Weeks Later is the follow-up to the much smaller 28 Days Later. The movie was produced by the original film’s creators Danny Boyle and Alex Garland. A tie-in graphic novel called 28 Days Later: The Aftermath was published by Fox Atomic Comics and covers the period of time between the first movie and this film. The movie was met with average to mostly positive reviews.
I loved 28 Days Later. The movie was unexpected and a fun rush that changed the zombie genre (for better or worse). Here, I found the movie wasn’t much of a game changer…and in fact I found it to be too much like a game.
The story has potential but gets completely derailed during the course of the film. I like the initial set-up though I somewhat doubt that a full scale repopulation of the country would start that quickly (and a city doesn’t seem like the best choice since more of the land must be neutralized). Once Carlyle is infected, the movie almost becomes a level based adventure game…get to safety, get to Regent’s Park, the subway level…It loses the emotion of the first film (plus that whole gimmicky different eye color genetic trait is unnecessary…didn’t need a visual for genetic difference).
It is too bad that the film becomes a run & gun type story because it has a good cast who is wasted. Robert Carlyle was kind of marketed as the star but becoming zombie-fied after very little screen time, the lead really falls on both Rose Byrne and Jeremy Renner. Both child actors Imogene Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton are decent since they are forced to largely carry the movie at points and both Idris Elba and Harold Perrineau could have been used better.
The movie also doesn’t visually have what 28 Days Later had. 28 Days Later was low budget but did the most it could with what it was given…and it looked awesome. The handheld style of shooting and strange frame rate gave it a really kinetic feel. Here, the movie seemed more standard fare. Due to the editing, I also wasn’t always sure what was going on in this film (like the irritating tunnel scene).
28 Weeks Later feels more like a money grab that a fully developed film. There are still some good parts and the movie does keep moving but you’ll find better horror films and zombie films (including the original film). I kind of credit the original film as bringing about the new zombie renaissance which includes The Walking Dead TV series (the comic started about a year after 28 Days Later). With so much zombie material, I don’t know if that could help or hinder the proposed 28 Months Later from being made, but I don’t know I’m dying to see it.