28 Weeks Later is the sequel to 28 Days Later, but will anyone remember anything about it even 28 hours later?
This time it is director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo showing us a story which continues off of where Danny Boyle’s film ended; somewhat. 28 weeks later the infection that has been turning people into amped up zombie-like, raging killers seems to have died off and people are slowly being brought to a contained area of Britain for repopulation. However, as ill cinematic luck would have it, the infection breaches the compound and all hell breaks loose.
The cast consists of talents such as Catherine McCormick, Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, and Rose Byrne. However it is the two younger leads that really become the focus as played by Imogen Poots and making his film debut Mackintosh Muggleton. Acting isn’t an issue with this film.
The main issue with the film is the appearance that the new director was hired to try and duplicate the look of Danny Boyle’s film; Boyle did produce on this. If you get car sick or have epileptic seizures don’t bother watching and for fans of Boyle: don’t accept imitations. They go as far as to cast another person seemingly for their eyes, with this time Imogen Poots’ beautiful peepers replacing those odd vision globes of Cillian Murphy from the first one. Gone is the intimacy developed in the first film in which we were still given some mystery and sense of discovery. This movie is filmed summer blockbuster style with more emphasis on the action and special effects and less time giving the actor room to act within the shaky camera’s eye. The special effects money was not put to waste; the movie does indeed look cool with some nice nighttimes sky shots particularly. However, the film as a whole feels like a disposable sequel just made to set up even more sequels, and really 28 Days Later was a stand alone film and doesn’t need a franchise.
The story has all of the same logical errors as one could expect from blockbuster style filming and a screenplay that was passed through the hands of at least 4 people. When you get that many different writers working on something, which is becoming the Hollywood norm, you better be aiming at television quality plots because they don’t end up with a solid story telling voice overall.
28 Days Later had several memorable moments within it: when the lady is forced to kill her friend abruptly and then the rescue scene to the theme music in the end are two emotionally charged ones off the top of my head. The opening of 28 Weeks Later uses not only the same music, but does indeed capture the emotion. However, it seems like the project lost its momentum after that and was reduced to popcorn fodder. Awesome opening though.
Is it worth a rent? Sure, it is a solid film for rental entertainment, but there are low budget horror films more worthy of getting the money and big screen action that this one got, which could be some sort of message to the powers that be. 28 Weeks Later was a one watch experience that I will have forgotten by tomorrow.