Film Reviews

28 WEEKS LATER

By • May 11th, 2007 •

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Fox Atomic / DNA Films / 91 minutes / R Rated

The Zombie Anti-Christ arrives. How come not one non-zombie ever pretends and runs with, not away, from the bloodthirsty zombie mob? I would fake being infected.

I liked 28 DAYS LATER, but strongly criticized the inane plot revolving around a small group of people who escape vicious, flesh-eating zombies. The two young women in the group refused to meet the sexual demands of the soldiers once they reached the only well-stocked, heavily armed fortress. They could have seen themselves as re-starting the human race as Eve 1 and Eve 2. Instead, their men kill all the armed soldiers and everyone leaves the outpost for a destination and future unknown. Did they even take a gun with them or, as most horror film victims do, throw it on the ground? Just how heavy is an Uzi?

I have a section of my library on the Holocaust and Nazi concentration camps (I recommend, among many, “How Mankind Committed The Ultimate Infamy at Auschwitz” by Laurence Rees, “Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account” by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli and “Inside The Concentration Camps: Eyewitness Accounts of Life in Hitler’s Death Camps” complied by Eugene Aroneanu.) People will do anything to survive even for a few more hours of life.

What would you have done? Have sex with a soldier willing to protect you, or face being torn apart and eaten alive by a mob of zombies?

28 WEEKS LATER – a very hard “R” – presents a different, more complicated story, opening with an interesting moral conundrum. It’s been six months since the outbreak ended in Britain. The zombies died of starvation. The people who made it out of Britain are returning under the protection of U.S. soldiers. Even though the city has been deemed cleared of the virus and zombies, an area of London has been sealed off and under constant surveillance by U.S. soldiers. No one is allowed to leave the heavily guarded Green Zone.

Don (Robert Carlyle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) are hiding in a remote country house with others during the zombie meandering rave across Britain. Their children, Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) have been evacuated to a detention camp in France. At the country house they are discovered by zombies. Don, seizing an opportunity, runs away, leaving Alice to fend for herself.

Don meets up with his children and takes them to a nice high-rise. He’s got a job and things look good. Don tells the kids he tried to save Mom but she was eaten by zombies. Andy complains he doesn’t have a photo of his mother, so he and Tammy disobey the rules, leave the Green Zone, and go home. Guess who is hiding out at home?

This visit causes Outbreak 2.

Dreading the “spoiler” backlash, I think it is best to leave this high octane zombie movie plot summary right here. However, I will say this: If the kids had just stayed inside their city-fortress and enjoyed the U.S. provided perks of re-populating London, things would not have gone to Hell in a hand basket.

It’s hard to like these kids.

But, as a great sequel needs to be, the ending ominously ups the ante!

Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo – I have a copy of his debut film, the fascinating INTACTO – takes full advantage of the “R” rating. Blood is splattered with glee. Be warned. The next step has been taken.

No wonder Bruce Willis is complaining about LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD being rated “PG-13.” Who wants to see John McClane in a walker using it as a weapon against bad guys? “PG-13” means McClane’s signature phrase will now be: “Go poop on yourself!”

Danny Boyle who directed and co-wrote 28 DAYS LATER with Alex Garland, are both executive producers here. Fresnadillo co-wrote the script with Rowan Joffe, Jesus Olmo, and one of the film’s producers, Enrique Lopez Lavigne. There is now a Spanish Inquistion flavor to the second of what surely will be a franchise. Fresnadillo has his AMORES PERROS. He’s going to be an important director. 28 WEEKS LATER doesn’t bother with exposition or sentiment. It’s tough, gory, exciting, and a daring thrill ride. I especially liked Don’s dilemma, his authentic transformation, and Alice’s decision to pick up a gun.

The score has now reached iconic status and has become a strong, menacing character itself.


Credits:
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Screenwriters: Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Enrique Lopez Lavigne, Jesus Olmo
Producers: Enrique Lopez Lavigne, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich
Executive producers: Danny Boyle, Alex Garland
Co-producer: Bernard Bellew
Director of photography: Enrique Chediak
Production designer: Mark Tildesley
Music: John Murphy
Costume designer: Jane Petrie
Editor: Chris Gill

Cast:
Don: Robert Carlyle
Scarlet: Rose Byrne
Doyle: Jeremy Renner
Flynn: Harold Perrineau
Alice: Catherine McCormack
Andy: Mackintosh Muggleton
Tammy: Imogen Poots
Gen. Stone: Idris Elba

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