Saturday, December 10, 2011

28 Weeks Later (2007)

In 28 days, Britain was destroyed by a deadly virus. It has been six months. The plague is dead, and those that escaped are slowly being reinstated back into their homes by the US Armed Forces. When a lone survivor is found hiding amongst the wreckage, military officials believe that they may hold the key to finding a cure, but unfortunately for them, she is also a carrier for the horrible disease! The Rage virus returns in 28 WEEKS LATER, and in a big way. We see how quickly the virus is able to spread again from the very beginning, as it consumes everyone in its path and takes over the streets of London once more. Collateral damage is the name of the game; when the virus strikes, the real terror isn't in being eaten... It is in dodging bullets. 28 WEEKS LATER continues the theme where man is shown to be the bigger monster, and the complete disregard for human life proves to be the most frightening. This tool is used most effectively when Robert Carlyle selfishly abandons his wife for fear of being eaten in the opening scene.

Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo steps up the action and violence in 28 WEEKS LATER, but the story leaves much to be desired. One must fully surrender to the implausibility of the plot and the giant leaps in logic in order to enjoy the film. At the very least, it seems highly unlikely that a country ravished by a deadly virus would begin repopulating itself a mere six months after the devastation. The fact that anyone could survive long enough during this period without the military spotting them in a highly secured zone is a bit much, but then to leave this person completely unguarded only to have the plague begin again requires some real incompetence. This may play into the anti-American sentiment that is embedded throughout the film, however, as the US is portrayed as being a gun-toting police state governing world affairs with semi-automatics and napalm. London turns out to be nothing more than an experiment, and when it fails, it is wiped clean.

Many of these issues could easily be overlooked had we been given compelling characters to move us through the plot, but no one steps in to win the audiences' affection. The two children are as one-dimensional as the military officials looking to save them, and even the deaths of several major characters lack emotional impact. Instead, we have an hour-and-a-half of bland characters beating extraordinary odds in order to survive. Still, there are enough stylish moments of tension and suspense to keep us watching.

Rating: 7/10.

2 comments:

  1. Agree with you on that it would have been a much better film if they had created characters that we cared about.

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  2. I absolutely love Jim and Selena from the original film, we feel for them and thus it generates suspense. I just never have a single character that I feel drawn to here. That being said, I dont find it to be a terribly made movie at all, just very distanced.

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