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Overall Rating
3.57

Awesome: 25%
Worth A Look43.18%
Average: 11.36%
Pretty Bad: 4.55%
Total Crap: 15.91%

7 reviews, 46 user ratings


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28 Weeks Later
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Better than the first, though still hectically unpleasant."
3 stars

You have to keep an open mind in this line of work. 2006's 'The Hills Have Eyes' remake bored me, but I enjoyed its sequel earlier this year. 2003's '28 Days Later' annoyed me, but '28 Weeks Later' ... well, I can't say I "enjoyed" it, but it didn't annoy me.

The "rage" virus has decimated England, turning people into gnashing, sprinting "infected" who either kill or infect others. As before, the attacks are filmed with barely-scannable undercranking effects, sandblasting us with crazed fragments in which howling maniacs lunge at anything that moves, their gory hair flinging dark dots of blood into the air. These movies are hectic and grim, with practically no intentional humor — it's all about kill or be killed. I remember when horror movies used to have more personality.

That said, 28 Weeks Later — directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) from a script credited to him and three others — does try to provide a shade more humanity than its cold predecessor. In a prologue, Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) plays a hapless man who, in a moment of terror, abandons his wife in a house overrun by "infected," fleeing for his life. Their two children, fortunately, are out of the country on a school trip; the kids return to England about six months later, when the country has been cleared of the "infected" (who've all died of starvation). The U.S. Army is helping England to repopulate, though this proves to be about as efficacious as the U.S. helping Iraq to become a democracy. The kids are reunited with their father, who tells them a carefully worded version of the events that, presumably, killed their mother.

It's not quite that easy, though, and before long there's another outbreak. An Army doctor (Rose Byrne) wants to keep the kids safe, because there's reason to believe they may be worth examining. The general takes one look at the outbreak, which has gotten completely out of control, and orders up a Code Red. This obliges the rooftop snipers to shoot everyone on the streets, the infected and the non-infected. One such sniper (Jeremy Renner) decides he's had enough of Code Red and leaves his post to help the doctor and the kids escape before the district gets fire-bombed.

There is a hint of heroism and self-sacrifice here, unlike in 28 Days Later, where it was every man (or cipher) for himself. There are, of course, massive implausibilities and plot holes, as well as a surely accidental echo of a helicopter-vs.-monsters gag from Robert Rodriguez' Grindhouse film Planet Terror. And this whole franchise remains a scrawny reiteration of George Romero's The Crazies and David Cronenberg's Rabid — I hope Romero, in particular, is getting a few bucks from Danny Boyle and Alex Garland (who directed and wrote the previous film, respectively, and executive-produced this one). The wider scope of the story here allows for some chilling views of an abandoned England, littered with corpses and maggoty pizza boxes. Jeremy Renner, who really should have a better career by now based on his haunting work in Dahmer, comes through with a likable portrait of a conflicted sniper, and the always-dependable Harold Perrineau Jr. shows up as Renner's chopper-flying buddy.

Mostly what impressed me about 28 Weeks Later is that it doesn't demonize the Robert Carlyle character; he takes the coward's way out, true, but Carlyle plays the man's self-torturing guilt for the rest of his time onscreen, even in scenes wherein you wouldn't expect him to express anything other than rage at his situation.

This sequel takes its predecessor's derivative, remorseless premise and deepens it a bit, though I can't be alone in wondering why this, of all things, should be a franchise ('28 Months Later' has already been announced), and why British and American audiences apparently can't get enough of infected lunatics vomiting blood onto their victims. I'm usually not weak of stomach, but, c'mon, whose idea of a good time is this?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=16126&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/14/07 07:24:50
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User Comments

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
9/24/08 PAUL SHORTT EVEN FOR A ZOMBIE GHOUL FILM, ITS IDIOCY IS BEYOND THE PALE 1 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-May-2007 (R)
  DVD: 09-Oct-2007

UK
  11-May-2007

Australia
  10-May-2007




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