Posted by: kfugrip | June 25, 2007

3 hours later…

28 Weeks Later, directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was chosen as the film to break the fast. It’s the sixty-seventh in my quest and was an interesting choice.

The sequel to the fantastic 28 Days Later, it takes place during the clean up and reconstruction following the infection breakout. Of course everything goes wrong and it starts all over again. Typical of the zombie movie genre and made more interesting my the new “fast-moving zombie” that sprints and screams as it chases it’s victims, the story is good for a few big scares of the jump out of ones seat variety.

The movie had some beautiful shots in it. I would say that the cinematography was beautiful but the entire movie was hand held, sometimes for no apparent reason other than people think every shot should be moving.

[An aside: I watched part of “On the Lot” the other night and they showed the films of the contestants. One guy’s movie was two talking heads across from a table, some relationship thing. I couldn’t hear it too well so I can’t comment on the content, however the two reverse shots were hand held. What the hell were they hand held for? Why? Is it that directors are scared to lock the camera down and let the performance do the work? Do they need everything to be floating and bouncing around? I can just hear the director telling the cameraman to shake the camera more. “The audience will be there… in the moment with the characters… because it’s hand held…”. That’s crap. I hate it.]

Performances were adequate for a horror movie but when compared with the first film in the series, this one is pointless. There was little the film had to say. It was more explosions, more blood, more violence, with nothing to say. There were exciting scenes with people being chased and the filmmaker is skilled at creating tension, which is important in this kind of film. The characters and their story, one of betrayal and abandonment was interesting in theory but in practice it felt forced. Much of the action was filled with holes as well.

Here is the problem in rating this movie, it’s effective in what it set out to do. Much like a comedy, a film like this is seeking only to do only one thing, in this case to scare you and involve you in the adrenalin of the action (which sounds like two things). So it worked on that level. However the first one, 28 Days Later, was shooting for loftier goals and reaching them, and I rated it 5 stars.

How do I rate a movie that is effective in it’s goals but provides little to nothing in way of unifying theme and has nothing to say? When I look at some of the films I’ve rated in the same genre, 28 Weeks Later doesn’t live up to the 4 star ones. I guess it’s going to be 3 stars. Very close to 2 stars though. It is only by looking at some of the other films I’ve rated at 3 stars in the genre, that I changed the number to 3.

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Responses

  1. good review. i agree with everything you had to say. i’ve been thinking a lot about some of the beautiful shots as well and being impressed with that, but you’re right that the movie just had nothing to say, so it is incredibly disappointing as a follow up to a film that had a social statment on many levels, for this one to just say, “well, we’ll just be a scary movie”. disappointing, but i guess i knew that going in. i was realizing today that part of my problem with it was that the first scene (or scenes) in the movie are actually incredibly powerful, it kind of set the stage for a more powerful movie overall, and it definitely didn’t deliver.

    also, it is worth mentioning i think, that the girl playing tammy is really distractingly beautiful. there were moments i was yanked out of the film, thinking “god, this girl is insanely attractive”. its too bad for beauty to be a downside, but got to that point for me multiple times in the film.

    sidebar comment: you are 100% right – and to add to that – i could hear the dialogue for that “on the lot” film and it was as cliched soap opera lifetime tv movie of the week you could get…maybe that was the reason for the handheld, to distract from the horrible script…

  2. adam has said i should comment about the fact that the ridiculously attractive girl playing tammy in 28 weeks later as mentioned above (imogen poots – worst actress name of all time?) is such an obvious and annoying hollywood ploy, and a personal pet peeve of mine, that in order for things to be blockbuster level successful we must fill them with inappropriate hot people. consider the young girl in 28 DAYS later – she is cute and attractive, but normal and believable, rather than insanely distractingly heroin fashion model attractive. he is totally right, but i was too distracted by imogen’s mesmerizing eyes to think about it.

    hollywood: 1
    kelly: 0

  3. Just watched this and really enjoyed it. I don’t think it had “nothing” to say, just nothing new. That being said, I too am getting sick of all the hyper-kinetic shaky-cam and shutter effects during action sequences. All the blood vomiting was a plus, though.

    And I wasn’t really distracted by either of the cute chicks who played Robert Carlyle’s daughters.

    Maybe not as bad as Imogen Poots, but does anyone remember Allison Doody, of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fame?


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