Thursday, May 24, 2007

28 Weeks Later

Title: 28 Weeks Later (2007)
Dir: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Rating: **** out of 5 stars

This is the third sequel I've seen so far this year, and it's the first to not let me down. It is not as tense and original as its predecessor, but it is an intelligent, scary thriller worth respecting.

Weeks, as its simplistic title suggests, takes place twenty-eight weeks after the London outbreak from the first film. The rage infection is now seemingly under control by the United States military stationed in England, who begin allowing residents back into quarantined safe zones. But when two children leave the safe zone, they set off a chain of events that results in a military code red - maintain the quarantine with deadly force. Now, the kids and a small group of survivors must escape the city before the infected - or the military - get to them.

While it didn't impact me as much as 28 Days Later, this movie is pretty intense. A few scenes in particular are damn scary. And not just in a gory horror movie way, but also on a morally disturbing level (kinda like watching the news).

There is also some great character drama, particularly with the children's father (Robert Carlyle), a widower who bears a great deal of guilt for a horrific act from his past. Carlyle is nothing like I expected in this film, and that's a very good thing. Jeremy Renner is also fantastic as an AWOL sniper who abandons his post in order to rescue uninfected civilians. I hope to see Renner in more movies like this, and fewer movies like SWAT.

Please do not dismiss this sequel because of its concept or title. Or even if you didn't like Days. This one is definitely worth seeing - it opens with a conceptual punch in the face, and never lets go. I too rolled my eyes when I first heard this was being made, but Weeks changed my mind. Now I say, bring on 28 Months Later!