28 Weeks Later

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28 Weeks Later

Review (5/10)
(By Ron Henriques)

There wouldn't be a movie if the infection were not to spread again followed by complete chaos, but how it occurs is rather stupid so if you don't want to be spoiled scroll to the bottom.

SPOILERS BEGIN:
When Carlyle's kids decide to foolishly venture out of the ?green zone? to pick up personal items from their home, the discover that not only is Mom hiding in the attic, but she's infected with the virus. The strange thing is that the virus doesn't appear to be affecting her at all due to an abnormality in her blood. Byrne wishes to run more tests in an effort to develop a vaccine from MacCormack's blood, but Elba feels she can do the same with the woman's dead body. Naturally the kids are suspicious of the story Dad told them involving Mom's death and he's at a loss for words. Somehow, rather stupidly, Carlyle manages to walk right into the quarantined room MacCormack is confined in, apologize for his actions, say ?I love you? and then kiss his infected wife on the mouth. Just because the virus hasn't affected her doesn't mean she's not a carrier and within seconds Carlyle is goes nuts, manages to bite a few soldiers and the madness begins again.

When the virus begins to spread quickly through the community, Elba issues a ?Code Red? which equals immediate extermination of all civilians, infected or not. Disobeying orders Renner and Byrne gather the two kids and a few civilians, hoping to make it out of the city before an air raid fire-bombs the whole place. In the meantime Carlyle is pursuing them, through subway tunnels, over barb-wired fences and bridges despite his condition. Apparently becoming a zombie gives you night-vision and the ability to track people for miles and miles. There's just the question of that anger-management problem. Miraculously, he dodges the fire-bombing in the streets by sitting down in an alleyway as the flames blow past him. Yeah, okay.

END OF SPOILERS

?28 Weeks Later? gets off to a promising start and then turns into an absolute mess. The circumstances surrounding Carlyle's actions and his guilt are the only dramatic high points of the film before it evolves into a basic chase movie. That wouldn't be so bad if the protagonists being chased were likable characters. We're barely given enough time to get to know each of them and their ridiculous actions during dangerous situations only make them look stupid. Some will foolishly die at the hands of soldiers with flame-throwers. Others will meet their demise after being caught in the sights of a sniper. One of the silliest demises involves a character being beaten to death with their own rifle by a zombie. If you are trying to traverse a pitch black tunnel with the night vision scope of your rifle and a zombie pops up in your sights, shoot it! Perhaps the filmmakers wanted the third act to feel bleaker than the original and have more characters die heroically, but they look foolish instead. All of this nonsense wouldn't have come about if Carlyle's kids weren't so stupid. And they don't get their just deserts for their actions because they may hold the key to mankind's survival. Yeah, right.

There's barely a face on the military, with Elba's commander making the decision to exterminate everyone and then disapearing for the rest of the picture. His actions are meant to show that non-infected humans can be worse than the zombies, but can you blame him when mankind's future is at stake? Elba's military force should be given a little credit. Initally they do try to protect the civilians: by locking them in a dark room like those gas chamber victims in ?Schindler's List?! ?Don't worry, these steel re-enforced doors will protect you! Ooops, the zombies got through anyway. Okay! Code Red!?

Those zombies sure get around too and never seem to run out of steam when chasing people. ?ARRGGH! ARRGGH!? That's all they do. That and using their ?super-human? strength to break through steel doors. I understand that technically, they're not zombies and are still living, breathing people infected with rage. They are not the undead and don't crave living flesh. So if they are so angry why do they only attack the uninfected and not each other? It would be great to see them in a marathon or some kind of sporting challenge like in ?Shaun of the Dead?, because when you see where these folks end up by the film's coda you'll wish you had placed a bet on them. It's merely a set-up for ?28 Months Later? or maybe even ?28 Years Later.? ARRGGH!!!


Trailer

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