28 Weeks Later (2007)
Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Written by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Rowan Joffe, Jesús Olmo, E.L. Lavigne
Starring: Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Rose Byrne, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Renner, Robert Carlyle, Catherine McCormack
I went to see this movie the other day, tickets courtesy of Cinema Clock (www.cinemaclock.com), as I was unable to resist it. It is, obviously, the sequel to my beloved 28 Days Later.
It takes place 28 weeks after the virus is initially released. England has been quarantined. The virus has been wiped out. The Americans have come in and set up a Green Zone and are beginning to allow people back into the country. They are instructed not to leave the safety of the Green Zone, because all the bad shit is outside the Green Zone (Iraq much?). As is turns out, the virus was not quite eliminated. There's this woman, a carrier, who manifests no symptoms but is still capable of infecting people. Thus, the bad shit gets into the Green Zone, and the Americans have to fire bomb the Green Zone and everybody in it.
I don't really need to say this, but it isn't as good at the first one. That's a given. Were it superior to the first one, I would have been very, very surprised.
28 Days Later was a brilliant, and very innovative film. This movie takes everything that was really good about the first one and abuses it. The characters aren't as well established, or appealing (the character I liked, who I thought was the main character, gets his Rage on twenty minutes into the movie. That's very shocking, of course), a lot of the situations are a little ridiculous (there were some pretty silly things in the first one, too, but this one goes a bit far), the music is the same, the sound effects are a little overused, the editing is frustratingly hard to watch (like that of a music video), the cinematography isn't as beautiful or imaginative, and they use the jump out and grab you variety of scares a little often.
Don't get me wrong, I actually rather enjoyed it, as much as that sort of movie is to be enjoyed. It had that same sense of visceral realism that the first one had, and some of the scenes are a little painful to watch - the guy abandoning his wife to be ripped apart by the infected and the army making the decision to machine gun a crowd of people, human or not being two of the worst.
Okay, so in a world full of violence and horrible depravity, that shouldn't really get to me the way it does, but there's nothing I can do about it. It makes me feel like I'm being squeezed.
Anyway, in this one, the select group of characters not only has to worry about the Infected, but also the U.S. Armed Forces (who are much better equipped though no more competent than Chris Eccleston's boys in the first one).
Speaking of which, you never really find out what happened to the people in the first one. Pretty much everybody who survived the first epidemic gets killed in this, which doesn't bode to well for Jim & Selene & Hannah. I was disappointed that one of them didn't have like a cameo or something. Even just seeing the "Hello" sign would have brought me tremendous glee.
But no, this is to 28 Days Later what Dawn of the Dead is to Night - a bigger budget remake disguised as a sequel.
And as for 28 Months Later? The final shot of the Infected running towards the Eiffel Tower (I couldn't help but laugh) would suggest as much.