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Overall Rating

Awesome: 24.72%
Worth A Look43.82%
Average: 11.24%
Pretty Bad: 4.49%
Total Crap: 15.73%

7 reviews, 47 user ratings

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28 Weeks Later
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"You Should Have Stayed In Sandford, Kid."
4 stars

The folks over at Fox have an interesting mosaic when it comes to their horror franchises. In 1979, Alien was a frightening haunted house-in-space thriller. It’s 1986 sequel, Aliens, upped the quotient with more creatures and a faster pace that ended with 40-plus minutes of non-stop action. That same year David Cronenberg delivered his version of summer horror with the gooey and introspective remake of The Fly. Three years later, Fox came out with part two which turned out to be less Greek tragedy and more quality kill oriented. And so on down the road with Predator 2 and the barely direct-to-video worthy The Hills Have Eyes 2 which brought in the military (albeit an untrained national guard) to do battle with the mutant cave dwellers. Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later has its place amongst horror fans as one of the more superior examples of the genre. It had a refined reflection about human nature amidst hardcore shock scenes and is a better trip the first apocalyptic time around than on repeat viewings. With maybe the unconscious sequel milieu in place, Fox is bringing in the military, upping the action and have delivered a faster-paced, if less cerebral experience, that I actually enjoyed more than the original.

In the creepy pre-title sequence we’re still in the middle of the original outbreak. Married couple Don (Robert Carlyle) and Alice (Catherine McCormack) have holed up with others in a boarded up country house that is soon overtaken by the blood-eyed, rage-fueled sprinters infected by the experimental monkey virus. Don makes a run for it, callously leaving Alice behind to fend for herself and that’s our hero, ladies and gentlemen. A quick (and thankful) timeline traces the ensuing aftermath from the dying out of the zombified to the rebuilding process that finally welcomes people back to London. With several sections still quarantined (all the bodies haven’t been removed yet) and American forces guarding every corner, there really is no place like home but there’s something to be said for choosing relocation over reunion.

Don’s children, Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) are among the readmitted and have a chance to live the high life in a luxury apartment thanks to dad’s connections with the rebuilding effort, but both seek out closure with the memory of their lost mother. Due to circumstances a little too simplistic to fathom, a new outbreak emerges and when a lockdown fails, military leader Stone (Idris Elba) establishes a Code Red which goes well beyond a simple base hazing by ordering soldiers to fire upon anyone in their scopes. Among the survivors are crack sniper, Doyle (Jeremy Renner) who questions the orders and becomes the defacto leader of those on the run. His buddy, Flynn (Harold Perrineau, now typecast as an island escapee willing to leave people behind) has the benefit of flight during the crisis and establishes a pick-up point with his chopper. Finally, there’s military doctor Scarlet (Rose Byrne) who feared this reappearance of the virus but sees hope in the children whose bloodline may carry a natural antibody to the plague.

Getting halfway through the film with a firm establishment of the pending doom, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) hits the acceleration pedal and never looks back. One scene after another is a series of mini-set pieces that has one thing on its mind – to get the hell out of Dodge. Mixing it up between outright action and blinding sequences of terror, it’s precisely the type of pace a sequel of this sort needs to satisfy fans and distract all notions that this is anything but a straight-up nightmare. Containment depends on the clock and there’s little to contemplate when hope is almost immediately lost and an air strike has been called in to firebomb the failed reconstruction project. Everybody becomes an enemy for the living and the latter is decreasing with each new predicament.

Weeks’ script (credited to four writers including Fresnadillo) will leave some dangling on the hunt for characters to get involved in. It seems just as we’re getting attached to one, their demise is right around the corner. This just adds to the frenzied velocity of the survival though and it works since you can basically chalk up a protagonistic shift with each third of the film. Renner is especially strong when he gets center stage and it’s a nice role for him after a career spent playing scumbags in S.W.A.T., North Country and none other than Jeffrey Dahmer. Fresnadillo reestablishes the audible-busting dread of the infected so well in the opening scene that it’s hard not to remain on edge even during the quieter moments. When he finally kicks it into overdrive, the frenetic anarchy of the cinematography doesn’t turn into overkill. The claustrophobia of the initial attack gets room to breathe, revealing the mounting spread of the disease and opening up the action sequences with a more epic feel. While the most impressively intimate is a night vision trip through a train station, Fresnadillo unleashes an field-wide assault that makes a similar moment in Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse segment seem positively “G”-rated by comparison and will be met with a gigantic gasp of approval from audiences.

28 Weeks Later will give everyone another opportunity to make the Iraq connection with a military occupation fighting a lost cause against a non-stop group of savages. And why not? Even Aliens was imagined as an allegory for Vietnam. It’s a little too convenient for one turned being to basically act as a consistent stalker for our heroes and the fate of the base members more or less left to our imagination, but this is more rollercoaster ride than an examination of human psychology. Perhaps this is coming from a less-than-enthused reaction to a second viewing of the original, but I had a better time with the sequel. Days was a decent end-of-the-world survival tale but it never had the depth many credited it with. The same can be said of Weeks, though it doesn’t suffer the fate of having slogged through a higher standard. It’s just damn frightening in the way “R”-rated bloodfests should be.

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originally posted: 05/11/07 14:00:00
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User Comments

3/25/18 morris campbell better than the original imho 4 stars
10/06/11 David Hollingsworth One of the better than average sequels 5 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter Outrageously violent,disturbing shock-fest.Like Dawn of the Dead for the new millenium! 5 stars
1/15/09 Peter North 5 boner salute......all that blood got my member cranking!!! 5 stars
11/26/08 Leo T utter crap 1 stars
10/21/08 David Hollands Light years ahead of the boring, pretentious, and stupid original. 5 stars
8/31/08 AnnieG Average for a sequel, but not much of a horror flick. 3 stars
8/26/08 Stevo Just one thing; WHY does the director seem to think we British can't look after ourselves? 1 stars
6/06/08 Jessay Too many plotholes, not nearly as good as the original. 2 stars
4/17/08 David There are NO zombies in this movie! Zombies are corpses. 5 stars
2/09/08 Vercious This is crap compared to the first one. Some of it was tolerable though. 2 stars
1/26/08 matthew Some decent thrills and good acting by Carlyle. script is lousy and the rest of cast wooden 3 stars
1/13/08 T -dawg 1st was way better 2 stars
1/10/08 Ethan Reeser That movie sucked 28 weeks from sunday. 1 stars
11/12/07 Alec Predictable, but still pretty good. 4 stars
10/30/07 Beau this was awesome!! it was a great action packed thriller, highly entertaining!! 4 stars
10/14/07 David Pollastrini better than the original! 5 stars
10/13/07 Carlos This mpvie was ok 1st was way better 3 stars
10/11/07 Vagile Part 3 please. 5 stars
9/10/07 966 Not as good as the 1st but GOOD!!! Love the musical score, who did it? 4 stars
8/13/07 lyna ok i dont understand the ending yo but it was good 5 stars
7/03/07 William Goss A worthy sequel that's thrilling in its own right. 4 stars
7/02/07 Tanya g Excellent movie I enjoyed this just as much as the first one 5 stars
6/26/07 Johnnathan love tha movie, 28 weeks rocks! nuff said 5 stars
6/15/07 Anthony G 100% better than the first piece of garbage. 4 stars
5/29/07 Mike My favorite movie,The musical score,brilliant. 5 stars
5/29/07 damalc almost as good as the original 4 stars
5/23/07 Cammo Hell of a Film !!! 4 stars
5/21/07 finc Wasn't that great, tension on par but that was it 3 stars
5/19/07 Joseph Don't waste your time and money watching this one. 1 stars
5/17/07 prince This movie is in my top 3 best horror movies 5 stars
5/17/07 Austin Wertman sucked 1 stars
5/17/07 Marlena Not quite as good as the first. But worth seeing once. 4 stars
5/17/07 Childe Roland Starts out very well, ends up being irritatingly awful. Good gore, but that's about it. 2 stars
5/16/07 Dave Days was better 1 stars
5/15/07 Blizz Yeah, movieman is stupid. 4 stars
5/14/07 Matt Awesome By far one of the best horror movies in a while!!!! 5 stars
5/14/07 Sista Ironside brianorndorf is a moron, this is a FILM not a "movie", fantastic! 4 stars
5/13/07 Wesley Eddings Easily one of my favorite horror movies ever. 5 stars
5/13/07 Jefenator More sensational than "Days" but it maintains most of the cool bleakness. 4 stars
5/13/07 danny I love it 5 stars
5/13/07 Charone "The Stand," a literary masterpiece?!?!?! That voids your entire review, brian.. 4 stars
5/12/07 Ole Man Bourbon Entertaining but often nonsensical 4 stars
5/12/07 MP Bartley A relentless, tense, desolate nightmare. This is how the world will end: screaming..... 4 stars
5/12/07 Adrian I love me some zombies. 5 stars
5/11/07 Dan boring... 1 stars
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  11-May-2007 (R)
  DVD: 09-Oct-2007



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