28 Weeks Later 2007 Movie Scene Robert Carlyle as Don running from the zombies

28 Weeks Later [2007]

The next time you hear that old trope that the original is always better than the sequel, just point them to this fucking movie. 28 Weeks Later is a stand-alone sequel to 28 Days Later and a much better movie than the original. It’s more exciting, competent, emotional and it also features a lot more action. Juicy, over-the-top, blood-splattering action. As its title suggests we find ourselves in London, 28 weeks after the outbreak of the Rage Virus. The virus is transmitted almost instantly through blood and saliva turning the people into bloodthirsty monsters. Most of the zombie population simply died off because they ran out of food.

And by food I mean humans, they ran out of those tasty humans. Don is one of the lucky survivors currently living and working in a part of the city protected by NATO who came in and cleaned it out. He can’t wait to see his two kids who are among the first people to return to the city. However, as we all know, trouble is just around the corner. 28 Weeks Later came after the sudden revival of the zombie subgenre kickstarted by the original. We’ve already had the pleasure of watching Dawn of the Dead 2004 edition, Land of the Dead, and Shaun of the Dead. So, the bar was raised quite substantially. And yet this movie surpassed all my expectations.

It surpassed them back when I first saw it and now, some 17 years later. The special effects stood the test of time along with sets and pretty much everything else. If you’re a fan of zombie movies, you’re going to love this one. As I’m sure you already do. The pacing is pretty fast and the movie wastes no time getting right into it. From the first minute, you feel this awkward and foreboding atmosphere telling you that shit will surely hit the fan. It’s only a matter of time. And that opening scene is a fucking work of art. 28 Weeks Later was directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the man behind one of the most original Spanish movies in years, Intacto.

Here, he focuses on the character development while leaving the main story well within the framework of standard-issue zombie lore. What this means is that we will get believable and authentic characters in tricky situations we’ve seen in other zombie movies. They’re not some bad-ass superheroes but ordinary people trying to make it out of there alive. And the same goes for the soldiers in charge of protecting them. In that sense, you could argue that the second half of the movie, which is more action-oriented, is weaker than the first focusing on the characters more. It all depends on your preferences.

However, what you cannot deny is the fact that they tried to give you the best of both worlds. Speaking of worlds, what I loved the most about 28 Weeks Later was the convincing worldbuilding. This post-apocalyptic setting might not have looked post-apocalyptic but it sure felt that way. After all, why do we always have to wander through cities turned to rubble? Or completely overtaken by plant life? You have to remember that it’s only been six months since the outbreak. And what a brilliant move to have the zombies die out because they ran out of food. In other zombie movies, they just continue to exist without a proper explanation.

Moreover, zombies are not going to be the only threat here. This aspect of the movie is somewhat overshadowed by the action and its heavy-handed approach but it still works. Mostly because of excellent performances we’ll talk about in a second. To get back to the action a bit, 28 Weeks Later features a lot of graphic violence. Zombies will be mowed down not once but twice by bladed contraptions. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. While the action might over-the-top at times, it still feels kind of matter-of-factly.

For example, Resident Evil franchise is milking these scenes for all their worth and here they just exist. No one is denying they exist for that wow effect but, on the other hand, no one is making a big fuss about them. When it comes to the cast, we’ve got a stellar one. Robert Carlyle eats up any role you give him and this one was no exception. Opposite of him, we’ve got two incredibly talented actresses from Australia, Imogen Poots and Rose Byrn.

I especially liked Imogen who would go on to give even better performances in Green Room and Vivarium. The Americans are represented by Jeremy Renner and Harold Perrineau. And finally, we shouldn’t forget about Idris Elba who plays Stone, the U.S. general overseeing the supposedly zombie-free District.

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Writers: Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Enrique López Lavigne

Cast: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack

Fun Facts: The farm you see in the opening scene of the movie is the same farm from Children of Men.


IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0463854/

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