28 Weeks Later

I’ll admit a certain liking towards end-of-the-world movies. For me there’s something irresistible in seeing what happens when everything goes wrong and Bruce Willis doesn’t manage to save the day. It was with delight that I watched 28 Days Later, a 2002 movie by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland about a horrible blood-spitting disease that strikes Britain. Maybe it was the bleak London vistas, maybe it was the unrelenting music and in-your-face video, or maybe it was just the fact that it was a great budget movie that packed a big punch.

With this in mind I looked forward to 28 Weeks Later, the sequel, with great anticipation. Both Danny Boyle and Alex Garland took a back-seat this time, leaving the movie to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. The story starts 28 weeks after infection, and we are introduced to a Britain where the infected have all died of starvation. The American army has been called in to take control of the situation and reintroduce the surviving population back. Gone are the original actors, disappointingly with no indication about their whereabouts. Instead we have Robert Carlyle and his family as the main protagonists, as we follow them into London, entering a survival centre, and then escaping the aftermath as a good situation goes badly wrong.

Like the original, the movie is aggressively shot and designed to put you right in the front of the blood-splattering action. Gore does exist, sometimes to an excruciating extent, so it’s not for the easily troubled. Other than that the movie has everything it should (including the obligatory shots of a damaged London), but overall it isn’t as effective as the original and you cannot help but be annoyed at people for doing exactly the thing you know they shouldn’t.

28 Weeks Later Boy

It’s always interesting to note disbelief about certain aspects of a movie, especially when the main story is fantastical in nature. People gloss over the technicalities of alien space travel, but complain about the sound of an explosion in space. I’ll attribute this down to human nature, and add one of my own. We are lead to believe that the American army is in full control of the clean-up and have rigorous security procedures in place in case of any possible outbreak. And yet, when a situation does develop, the security procedure seems to consist of locking all the disease-free people in a room, switching the lights off, and not bothering to check the outside door. This is a plot device I would gladly have seen removed.

The movie ends on a very dismal note without any of the originals optimism. Despite the sometimes awkward plot, and the occasional lack of anything happening, you are left with a sense of wanting to know what happens next. Danny Boyle has indicated that a 28 Months Later is planned, with himself returning as director. Hopefully then we’ll have a more satisfying conclusion.

If you like a bit of post-apocalyptic fury then 28 Weeks Later is one to check out, although make sure to watch 28 Days Later first to see how it should have been done.

11 thoughts on “28 Weeks Later”

  1. Nice review. I have really like 28 days later, it was unexpectedly good (I also like the "we’re the last survivors in the world" type of movie) and 28 weeks has been sitting on my desk for quite some time now. I’m glad a sequel is planned:)

  2. Hey John,
    i’ve seen some months ago the movie 28 days later and it was surprising a great movie. With the second part (28 Weeks Later) i was disappointed, it wasn’t the same good as the first part was.

  3. I cam up with an explanation to the end, and you can also take it into two directions: one being casual (for a lack of a better word) or extreme.

    Now we could say that the kid accidentally released the virus to the rest of the world by some miens that I do not know.

    OR

    We cold say that the little boy went insane and deliberately infected people. I know that this is extreme and I may be wrong, but it makes perfect sense to me because I noticed that at the end the director shows a paper that says "For Dad."

    PS: Anyone would go insane with the experiences that kid had, at that age.

  4. DragonMunky,
    hey now that you mentioned it, your "For Dad" explanation does seem very possible.
    I would preferred it to have a happy ending… πŸ™

  5. Hey, man. Really great review.

    28 Days and 28 Weeks Later are among my prefered movies. Specially the first one, with that incredible soundtrack (this is the only thing that i think is “lousy” in the 28 Weeks).

    I could not disagree about the “disbelief” thing. I had to argue about something like that in the last time i watched the DVD with some friends at home. And there are other problems: both of movies demmands that people watch them with more than just the eyes, and seems like people are getting less and less willing to use the brains when watching movies, specially horror/sci-fi movies. I think this is getting so serious, that when people ask me about 28 Days / 28 Weeks, a warn then: “it’s a drama movie, with ‘something-like-zombies’. You need brains to watch it. Wanna give it a try?”.

    πŸ™‚

    Best Regards, from Brasil/Brazil.

    Celso Bessa

  6. DragonMunky.

    The paper is the one that the Helicopter pilot had from his son.
    I think the director showed this just to set something like: “This scene is the days after the pilot taking the survivors from GB to FRance across the Channel”. (Remember that the soldier ask him to take the kids across the channel, not to the base.

    And there’s a lot of possibilities to the re-infection. The kid could have kissed a girl in France, the military or health ministry personal could have done tests to him and the virus was released for accident, the virus could have evolved and now can infect by touch or air, et cetera. Just to give a few possibilities.

    That’s all, for now, folks.

    Celso Bessa

  7. what the hell are you guys talking about?? the virus was re-born because that guys wife was immune, but could still pass it on. and that guys is an idiot and kissed her. the kids didnt do shit but find her.

  8. Even though I was disappointed the same characters weren’t in the sequel I realised it was because it was the story told through other character’s experiences-which would have been happening along the same timeframe as the 28 Days people’s.This is why we get the fantastic opening bit.It would have been a bit odd to see our pals from 28 Days all cozy safe in an army barracks after being rescued.Especially when we know what happened to them when they trusted the army guys they found.Somehow the Robert Carlyle character found good army guys.

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