Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Film review--28 Weeks Later


28 WEEKS LATER
starring Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Renner, Idris Elba, and Kurt Vonnegut as "The Beav."

In this sequel to 28 Days Later, the United States military has deployed to Britain about six months since the initial release of the zombie plague.  The infected have either all died off or have been contained and a section of London has been carved out to repopulate.  As refugee Britons return from exile, life begins anew.
Of course, it all goes horribly wrong.

Ok, full disclosure: I really saw Elysium tonight.  There will likely be a review on that film later.  But this one has been in the review queue longer and since it's late and I'm tired, I'm thinking I can knock this one out faster.
The first film, 28 Days Later, was one of the most bleak, cheerless, and unrelenting movies that I have ever seen.  I am not saying that it was a bad one, not by any means.  In fact, it's probably the most realistic depictions to come from the insipid, tired, trite, redundant, and glutted zombie sub-genre.  More than that, it's probably an accurate portrayal of exactly what would happen to society in the event of a pandemic.  But it really is a nightmare and I'm okay not seeing it again.

This sequel had simultaneously more and less to offer than its predecessor.  On the plus side, it was much bigger in scope.  At stake was not the lives of a few straggling survivors just trying to make it.  This entailed a city on the mend and a large deployment of US military.  That affords bigger, more exciting thrills and a lot of opportunity for Jeremy Renner, who in my humble opinion is one of the absolute best action stars we've seen in a long time.  Big fan of that guy, kinda got a mancrush going.  But I digress...

Despite this, there are considerable downsides.  Yes, there's lots of action, but it relies on lots of cheap jumps and jolts that somehow have become confused with "horror." The film is utterly predictable.  By seeing the first 28 installment, all one needs to do to foresee the direction of the narrative is to ask "what is the absolute worst, most depressing thing that could happen?" Combined with this is the old horror cliche of people who dither and do really stupid things that defy logic.  There is also a woefully contrived "reunion" of sorts but I won't give any spoilers.

Also, Idris Elba plays a military officer, but all I kept hearing was Charles Miner from The Office.


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1 comment:

  1. On Facebook, MelissaPOE said: "Did I hear "Kurt Vonnegut?"

    You did indeed. :)

    ReplyDelete