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Overall Rating

Awesome: 24.72%
Worth A Look43.82%
Just Average: 11.24%
Pretty Crappy: 4.49%
Sucks: 15.73%

7 reviews, 47 user ratings

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28 Weeks Later
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by Eugene Novikov

"For the sequel hall of fame"
4 stars

When Danny Boyle handed over his breakout 28 Days Later franchise to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, I bet that he wasn't expecting the young Spanish filmmaker to upstage him so completely. 28 WEEKS LATER is a better movie in every way: prettier, scarier, sadder, more meaningful. What could have been a throwaway, cash-in sequel becomes one of the best films of the year, and the best horror film in several. It's harrowing, heartbreaking and unforgettable all at once.

The vast improvement on its predecessor is evident from the very first sequence, a terrifying and protracted attack that seems to take place contemporaneously with the events of the first film. While Fresnadillo largely retains the unsteady cinematography and herky-jerk editing that characterized Boyle's effort, the result is a different animal: where Boyle shook the camera and cut with a butcher knife to set a mood of chaos and confusion -- to keep the audience off balance, for better or worse -- Fresnadillo seems to want to reward attention. Watching the tour de force opening -- in which a horde of infected invades the barricaded hideout of a group of survivors -- I slowly realized that the frenetic, rapid-fire scene was actually a model of visual coherence. And this combination of chaos and lucidity made the suspense almost unbearable.

Even better, Fresnadillo shoots mostly (though not exclusively) on film. I know that some viewers valued the cheap, unpolished look of 28 Days Later, but I wasn't one of them: the film was, alas, butt-ugly in its DV splendor. That may have made some thematic sense given its world-gone-to-hell milieu; here, by contrast, the bright colors and crisper images are an unsettling complement to the illusion of restored peace that forms the core of the sequel. The new look is cold and forbidding rather than merely drab; Fresnadillo's aerial photography adds a certain sweep, moving his movie still further away from Boyle's pseudo-homemade approach.

The plot, refreshingly, is unconcerned with topping the first film's zombie action quotient, involving instead an American military presence intent on restoring civilization in London or, failing that, eliminating the threat that lurks there once and for all. Having determined that the last infected human has starved to death, the Americans begin allowing the remaining Londoners -- those who managed to make it to refugee camps abroad -- to return. One particular transport carries the two children of the guilt-wracked sole survivor of the opening massacre (Robert Carlyle); one of them, the 12 year-old Andy, is the youngest child to be permitted into the country. That's what it's all about," intones the fearsome American Major in charge of repopulating the city. "Families starting again." Of course, it rarely works that way in the realm of zombie horror.

Once the Americans lose control of the situation and receive the order to shoot indiscriminately, the theretofore sneaky subtext becomes roaringly obvious. But 28 Weeks Later isn't dependent on its politics. Jeremy Renner's frustrated sniper, who disobeys orders and joins the desperate group of fugitives when he trains his rifle on the boy, fits among the film's political references, but also works as a more general humanist affirmation -- something Boyle's misanthropic film would never have allowed. And the movie stumbles on a winner with little Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton), whose resilient, resolutely unobnoxious presence is both reassuring and nerve-wracking.

28 Weeks Later is actually rather unambiguous, at least morally -- there's no hand-wringing over the Americans' ultimate decision, since despite its putative tactical wisdom, the film flatly condemns it as part of the military's overall approach. (When a character opines that "it makes perfect sense," she does so in resignation rather than endorsement.) And though I like a difficult movie as much as the next guy, this moral clarity is actually one of its greatest strengths. Where 28 Days Later remained planted in your head, its sequel invades your heart and your gut. As smart as it is visceral, it works better than I could have imagined.

Reprinted from Filmblather.com

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=16126&reviewer=419
originally posted: 05/12/07 03:01:41
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User Comments

3/24/18 morris campbell better than the original imho 4 stars
10/05/11 David Hollingsworth One of the better than average sequels 5 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter Outrageously violent,disturbing shock-fest.Like Dawn of the Dead for the new millenium! 5 stars
1/14/09 Peter North 5 boner salute......all that blood got my member cranking!!! 5 stars
11/25/08 Leo T utter crap 1 stars
10/21/08 David Hollands Light years ahead of the boring, pretentious, and stupid original. 5 stars
8/30/08 AnnieG Average for a sequel, but not much of a horror flick. 3 stars
8/25/08 Stevo Just one thing; WHY does the director seem to think we British can't look after ourselves? 1 stars
6/05/08 Jessay Too many plotholes, not nearly as good as the original. 2 stars
4/17/08 David There are NO zombies in this movie! Zombies are corpses. 5 stars
2/08/08 Vercious This is crap compared to the first one. Some of it was tolerable though. 2 stars
1/26/08 matthew Some decent thrills and good acting by Carlyle. script is lousy and the rest of cast wooden 3 stars
1/12/08 T -dawg 1st was way better 2 stars
1/10/08 Ethan Reeser That movie sucked 28 weeks from sunday. 1 stars
11/11/07 Alec Predictable, but still pretty good. 4 stars
10/29/07 Beau this was awesome!! it was a great action packed thriller, highly entertaining!! 4 stars
10/13/07 David Pollastrini better than the original! 5 stars
10/12/07 Carlos This mpvie was ok 1st was way better 3 stars
10/11/07 Vagile Part 3 please. 5 stars
9/09/07 966 Not as good as the 1st but GOOD!!! Love the musical score, who did it? 4 stars
8/12/07 lyna ok i dont understand the ending yo but it was good 5 stars
7/03/07 William Goss A worthy sequel that's thrilling in its own right. 4 stars
7/02/07 Tanya g Excellent movie I enjoyed this just as much as the first one 5 stars
6/26/07 Johnnathan love tha movie, 28 weeks rocks! nuff said 5 stars
6/14/07 Anthony G 100% better than the first piece of garbage. 4 stars
5/28/07 Mike My favorite movie,The musical score,brilliant. 5 stars
5/28/07 damalc almost as good as the original 4 stars
5/23/07 Cammo Hell of a Film !!! 4 stars
5/21/07 finc Wasn't that great, tension on par but that was it 3 stars
5/19/07 Joseph Don't waste your time and money watching this one. 1 stars
5/16/07 prince This movie is in my top 3 best horror movies 5 stars
5/16/07 Austin Wertman sucked 1 stars
5/16/07 Marlena Not quite as good as the first. But worth seeing once. 4 stars
5/16/07 Childe Roland Starts out very well, ends up being irritatingly awful. Good gore, but that's about it. 2 stars
5/15/07 Dave Days was better 1 stars
5/14/07 Blizz Yeah, movieman is stupid. 4 stars
5/13/07 Matt Awesome By far one of the best horror movies in a while!!!! 5 stars
5/13/07 Sista Ironside brianorndorf is a moron, this is a FILM not a "movie", fantastic! 4 stars
5/13/07 Wesley Eddings Easily one of my favorite horror movies ever. 5 stars
5/13/07 Jefenator More sensational than "Days" but it maintains most of the cool bleakness. 4 stars
5/12/07 danny I love it 5 stars
5/12/07 Charone "The Stand," a literary masterpiece?!?!?! That voids your entire review, brian.. 4 stars
5/11/07 Ole Man Bourbon Entertaining but often nonsensical 4 stars
5/11/07 MP Bartley A relentless, tense, desolate nightmare. This is how the world will end: screaming..... 4 stars
5/11/07 Adrian I love me some zombies. 5 stars
5/10/07 Dan boring... 1 stars
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  11-May-2007 (R)
  DVD: 09-Oct-2007



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