28 Weeks Later (2007)
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Twenty eight weeks after the viral shenanigans that brought down London in 28 Days Later; the virus has been contained, the premises cleaned up, infused with a US military presence and is now ready for re-population. Or is it? Let’s just say that the latter step doesn’t go too smooth…RAGE ON!
Warning: Maintain the quarantine-deadly force will be used
to protect this area.
Holy shit! Talk about a sucker punch! Now, I grooved hard to Danny Boyle’s
zombie homage without zombies (they’re rage victims yo)
28 Days Later
but when I learned that Boyle wasn’t helming the sequel, I semi cowered away from the idea of
getting a solid follow up. Well I’m in a tizzy to report that the jacked up 28 Weeks Later
was a superior genre effort, one that in my absolutely pointless opinion actually bettered the original! You see! Miracles do happen!
Starting with its visceral and ballsy opening scene that reeled me into the film in a mucho harsh fashion, this mean machine
kicked my ass the whole way through and didn’t stop the pummeling till the bitter end. What a beating of epic proportions! This one did it all! First it was a sequel that actually managed to be novel even while tackling the
same elements from the first film. Yup, it played a similar game to some degree but did in its own
one-two-uppercut way and at the same time took it all a firm step further. Straight up with a couple of minor tweaks, 28 Weeks Later could’ve worked as a stand alone; yup; it was that damn strong! The flick was an
engaging character driven piece as well with a family unit acting as the main driving
force of the narrative. I personally loved how the physical action often
paralleled the “human drama" in terms of unraveling, progression and arc. Gave
the flick double the impact!
Big props goes out to the genius screenplay behind this one! It not only sported a big set of brass balls but it also often went against conventions to take me aback and then some. The fact that the film was deliciously action driven without sacrificing story/character contributed to the vice-grip factor too. I was constantly bitch slapped silly via the sly blend of pure
horror and knuckle shuffling action that was bombarded my way. A word on the
physical get downs if I may; I haven’t felt this involved in a film’s set pieces
in a while. They rammed in hardcore staging and execution wise and carried all
kinds of emotional resonance with them at that! Wait till you see what “Code
Red” really means, the flame thrower bit (ouch, I felt that one) or how
helicopter blades can be put to honky-dory use. WOW! I WAS FLOORED! Unapologetic was the word
and me being shaken & stirred as the end credits rolled was the result! Tag to all
that striking imagery galore (the powerful visuals had my jaw break off to then
drop to the floor), a take no prisoners attitude (everybody was up for grabs which upped the tension factor to “I can’t take it no more!”),
a relentless pace, a brilliant milking of its locations (the fact that I saw this in London was so slick for me) and a moving score that made me feel it
like nobody's bitch and you get a WINNER on all counts.
On the slim negative, some of the action bits were hard to discern due to some close/shaky cam shots. Was a tad frustrating. I can’t wait for that editing trend to end already! Finally, the last frames although
cute were also somewhat tacky, specially when taking into account the above the norm and un-compromising
effort I had just witnessed. Something a little bit more ambiguous and mature would’ve hit my spot
harder. The flick was better than that! All in all though the tragedy laced 28 Weeks Later put me
through the ringer with class, sass and one heck of a mean streak! I'm up for
another sequel if it's a genre masterpiece like this one. CONSIDER ME OWNED...
and shipped to Peru!
You bet it was gory as f*ck! We get all kinds of dismemberment, heads chopped off, eye gouging, blood splashes and one heck of a massacre involving helicopter. FUN SHIT!
Robert Carlyle (Don) is one heck of an actor and he excelled here once again on all levels. What a brave performance! Jeremy Renner (Doyle) was credible and mucho sympathetic. Loved him! Emily Beecham (Karen) gave an intense and gripping show while Idris Elba (Stone) punched in yet another solid display! It should be said that the whole cast sold me here! Grade A acting for a Grade A+ flick!
T & A
To be totally honest, I don't remember. I was way too into it to notice either way.
Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo put out a gritty, stylish yet grounded visual feast that knew when to suck you into the action via utter realism and when to wow you with a powerful dose of say slow motion or slick shot. Much like the flick’s narrative its images also dripped with emotion.
We see the return of the uber engaging 28 Days Later score and some subtle and dark ditties by John Murphy that backed up the film perfectly.
28 Weeks Later was Children of Men for the horror genre! It's now one of my top films of the year thus far! I’m talking a horror film with depth, heart, courage, an unrelenting demeanor and enough “shock grenades” to whoop you stupid! And it was a sequel at that! Who knew? It so showed that care was at play on every level here; script, acting, directing, visual effects etc. Apart from some random shaky/close cam and too cheeky for my liking last frames; I have ZERO qualms with this bad to the core boy! Let's support quality inclined, ambitious and grown-up horror for a change! Live it on the big screen! It is so worth it!
Veteran actress Catherine McCormack had a bit yet pivotal role in the film.
See Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's Intacto; the flick that put him on my map!
Word has it that Danny Boyle shot some second unit on this one.
Director of the original Danny Boyle and its writer Alex Garland were both executive producers on the film.
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