REVIEW: 28 Weeks Later
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Amanda Walker
28 Days Later was one of those movies that really seemed to divide fans of zombie films. I liked the movie and thought that its take on a infectious disease called "Rage" that causes people to go insane and want to tear people apart and eat them was interesting and enjoyable. While I saw a few sequences that paid homage to Romero's zombie films I certainly didn't see enough to make me feel that Danny Boyle had completly ripped off the master for his story. The film did suffer from appearing as a low budget horror film shot of DV and of course it suffered from the same affliction almost all zombie films suffer from: The Humans are the real monster syndrome.
Thankfully director Juan Carlos Fesnadillo saw the same problems and decided to avoid them. 28 weeks Later manages to improve on the original in just about every way. The story starts off with a couple Don (Robert Carlyle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) who are hold up with other survivors in a secluded farm house. When the zombies attack Don cowardly abandons Alice and escapes. 28 Weeks Later the the US government has taken back control of London after all the infected have died from starvation. Slowly the troops are moving people back into the city. Don has survived and is living back in London. His two kids Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) are also returning to the city via military transportation. Upon reuniting Don explains that their mother was taken off by the infected and died. The children are upset but accept thier fathers story. The kids decide they want to retrieve photos of their mother from their home outside the quarantined safe zone and sneak past security checkpoints. The find their mother hiding out in thier house and not infected. When they are returned to the quarantined zone the Alice is found to be immune to the effects of the virus but a carrier. After reuniting with Don and kissing him Don becomes infected and then all hell breaks loose as the virus starts infecting people one by one and the fight for survival begins again.
While the movie doesn't offer that much in the way of plot it certainly makes up for it in exciting escape sequences as the childres Tammy and Alex escape the quarantine zone dodging zombies and the government to get teh kids to safety and possibly find a vaccine to the virus with the help of Alex who a military medic believes may also be immune to. This film tries to avoid the "humans are the real Monsters" syndrome. When the US military decides they have to take out all the people in the city they really have no choice do to how fast the virus spreads. The soldiers certainly don't like having to do it but the alternative is to allow the virus to escape the quarantine and possibly spread.
The film accomplishes to combine the fear of disease with the zombie genre and does a pretty damn good job of it. The biggest problem with the film is Director Fresnadillo's over reliance on shaking camera movement during the action sequences to make it seam like more is going on than there is. While it at times certainly aides in creating that anxious feeling in the audience it also can make the audience nauseous. I would have liked to see a better balance in the use of the technique.
Overall 28 Weeks Later is one of the best Zombie films I've seen since Land of The Dead and it certainly overshadows the original 28 Days Later.
4 out of 5 Bloody Axes