Tuesday, January 15, 2008

But for a nail... 28 weeks after the fact

28 Weeks Later (The REVIEW!!!):

Yesterday I wrote a session on 28 Days Later and talked lightly about its sequel: 28 Weeks Later. I promised a second session later, and planned it to be lengthy an in-depth. This is not quite as big or in-depth as I planned, but that might be for the best for reasons of time and perhaps even quality. Either way, this is all you're getting so enjoy the quick (relatively) review.

28 Weeks Later, takes place 28 Weeks after an infection wiped out the population of Great Britan. A US-led NATO security force has killed the last surviving infected and are beginning a program to repopulate Great Britan. An ambitious dream, but there are many who still dream of Britan, especially the survivors of the infection and those who were overseas at the time. The military is confident that the infection is over but they haven't secured everywhere, and so only a small island is being repopulated.

It seems that while humanity is just as ambitious as in 28 Days Later (where the virus started as an attempt to cure rage, and an attempt by a military base to repopulate humanity led to its annihilation). But it soon becomes clear that just as in 28 Days Later, people are careless. The American soldiers guarding the island are joking around, and the military doesn't even bother to tell the medical officer that children are being reintroduced. And then when the children wander off, the military is agonizingly slow in picking them up. When a survivor with a mutated version of the infection returns, they maintain weak security and... of course the infection re-emerges. And of course they try to annihilate the population to stop the spread, becoming monsters in the process. And of course, they fail, and the infection spreads to mainland Europe...

The themes of ambition and carelessness so prominent in 28 Days Later are here large looming still. Another theme is the memory, as the choices of the father who survived the infection's first wave are driven by his guilt and doom the island, and the actions of his children are driven by their need for their memories and the hidden secrets of that father. All good, meaty themes, and with mixed success the film bears them out. I personally would have liked some revisiting of the idea of memories, with the aftermath of the children's memories, but since director decides to jump from saving the children to doomsday that I guess must be left out. There's another complaint, the film does show the virus traveling from Britan over the channel through the children, but there's no reason given why that must lead to a new outbreak.

I suppose something strange must of happened that doomed mainland Europe. Strange things happened throughout the film, incidental coincidences and odd mistakes, and tricks of chance, none impossible or violations of logic but all... well let's just say this movie features some very, very unlucky people. That's the thing that bugs me the most about this movie, it attempts a sense of realism, it attempts a sense of grandeur, it seems to preach lessons about humanity, but everything here seems to driven by bad luck. Furthermore, unlike 28 Days Later where most of the bad luck was stuff that probably was going to happen, the bad luck here is all so unnecessary. It gives the film a contrived feel overall.

But I can't dislike this film. It is too well crafted, it makes for some beautiful scenes and some beautifully terrifying scenes. It draws you into the horror, and draws you into the tragedy of the picture as well. In the best moments of the film, it speaks of the deep themes, even though what it says isn't necessarily apparent. And unlike 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later's characters earn a happy ending, and it gives the world a sad ending which 28 Weeks Later almost shows the world deserves.

But in the worse moments, the film seems pointless, excessive, and tiring. Still the better outweighs the worse although not by an immense amount.

Overall, I give it a 6 out of 10.

Anywho, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

1 comment:

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