“…a film that shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as its predecessor.”
I have a very special relationship with 28 Weeks Later because it is the only film to ever make me leave a theatre mid-movie in fear. Admittedly I was too young to be watching it in the first place, but that doesn’t change the fact that I only made it 10 minutes into the film before calmly leaning over to my mom and saying softly “I can’t handle this, I need to leave”. The beginning of 28 Weeks Later was the scariest movie I had seen for years; and that remained true until last night when I ruined the film by watching it in its entirety.
28 Weeks Later takes place after the film 28 Days Later and it is about the re-build of (and re-admittance of people to) Britain. We learn that when the virus broke out, Britain was sealed off. Then America came in and started kicking ass, at least until all of the infected starved five weeks after the initial outbreak. Now finally, 28 weeks after the outbreak, people are being re-admitted into parts of Britain that are still under the watchful eye of the US military. Of course there is another outbreak caused by two stupid kids wandering out of the safe zone, because otherwise there would be no movie.
What I liked about 28 Days Later was that the film started well-into an apocalypse. Nothing is more iconic than seeing the main character walk around the deserted streets of London in a pair of scrubs. While this film had an equally interesting concept (rebuilding after such a tragedy), the execution was where it lacked. Essentially what we got was a re-telling of the initial outbreak, but this time with more Jeremy Renner. Now I have problems with this movie past that fact, but really my main problem relies on this fact: it just wasn’t anything special. We’ve seen this premise a thousand times in a thousand different zombie movies and we didn’t need to see it again.
So I’ve heard people say that 28 Weeks Later is a better film than its predecessor, but to that I would have to question whether or not I watched the same movie as them. Not only is the plot weaker, but it relies on a whole bunch of “just don’t think about it” plot holes. I still firmly believe that there should have been no outbreak based on where ‘patient zero’ was when he got infected. Couple that with the fact that there were armed, military trained individuals on their way to that room when the man got infected and you have an unwinnable situation for the virus. But of course the writers knew that as well which is why they don’t show you how this situation plays out, instead jumping forward in time to when the infected has already attacked numerous soldiers. There are multiple more examples of this type of bullshit throughout the film, but I won’t go into them for fear of me spoiling it.
“So the movie had plot-holes, so what? name any superhero film and I’ll give you an example of a plot hole”. Well the problem there is that 28 Weeks Later wasn’t good enough to make me forget bout the plot holes. What we got was a movie that was not scary enough to be a true successor to 28 Days Later, and not fun enough to be a full-blown action movie. It was in a weird version of movie-limbo. The action scenes weren’t terrible, mind you, they just weren’t anything to write home about. At least the film was full of A-list movie stars; it’s just too bad that they barely put them to use. I guess this would be the fault of the writing (or maybe the directing), but none of the characters (save for the dad of the two kids) actually felt emotional. I understand that many of them were in the military, and the military is usually depicted as being devoid of emotion, but come on! People are trying to eat your fucking throat and you can’t act a little more scared? And despite being overall mediocre, there were some really fucking awful moments of acting as well. It just seems that in 28 Weeks Later the bad always outweighed the good.
Overall 28 Weeks Later is a pretty weak movie. With a plot that relies a whole lot on bullshit luck and scenarios that make no sense, characters that don’t have much emotion, and an opening scene that is pretty much false advertising, 28 Weeks Later is a film that shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as its predecessor.
I give 28 Weeks Later a C