28 Weeks Later

In order to review 28 Weeks Later, it’s necessary to say something about 28 Days Later:

This first leg of the franchise managed to transcend the genre by putting characters at the forefront and weaving poignant moments and themes through an unpredictable narrative. Sure, it was a zombie movie, but it wasn’t JUST a zombie movie.

Days also managed to function as a well-oiled piece of science fiction. It established the rules regarding the “rage virus” and then set our protagonists free to work against it.

Simply put, 28 Days Later is not only a classic of the horror genre, but one of the best dramas I’ve ever seen.

So where does Weeks stand? Separated from its forebear, Weeks is a more than competent zombie thriller. It features some truly beautiful cinematography in spots (though there’s a good deal of the ever-popular “shaky camera” work to bring the film down in this category). The action is also quite good in spots- there’s a kill scene about 2/3 of the way through that won’t be soon forgotten.

Viewed as a sequel to 28 Days Later, Weeks is all over the place. It needs to be said that the first 30 minutes made me feel like I was watching a true successor to Days. Somehow, the intimacy of strangers so well captured in Days had been resurrected.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film doesn’t hold up as well. By the halfway point, the plot has degenerated into the genre standards. It executes them well, But the movie no longer feels like Days- no matter how much the score claims otherwise.

On a particularly disturbing note, the film breaks continuity with Days regarding the contagious nature of the virus. People get splattered with zombie blood and walk away no different than before. As someone who hopes Boyle returns to direct the inevitable third movie, this change bother me most of all.

Weeks still struck me as the second best zombie movie I’ve ever seen. The action is tight, the sights are breathtaking, and the plotting is fast enough to account for deficiencies in depth. Just don’t be surprised that director Fresnadillo hasn’t managed to one-up Danny Boyle- few can, right?
Image Source: IMDB

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