Monday, 30 July 2007

28 Weeks Later

Including this as a Moviegrenade! is something of a shock, not least to me. I walked out of the cinema stunned by parts of the movie – but let down by its core. And there may be some spoilers in this, but if there are, they're not fundamental or surprising. Trust me on this.

Let me explain. If you don't know the plot, this movie kicks off, yes, 28 weeks after the end of the first movie. In the first movie, England was ravaged by a virus called Rage, which made infected folks really, really angry. And murderous. And mental. It was a fast, furious and in parts, fucking fantastic movie. Violence exploded and died down like in real life, it came out of nowhere; and it posed interesting questions; which is worst, a world full of infected mentals or a world full of non-infected mentals with guns?

The sequel attains some of the same highs and still made me gasp with its brutality at times. It takes a lot to do that, I love my horror movies. I even watch the news on TV occasionally. The opening sequence, in which Robert Carlyle and his missus are boarded up in a farmhouse during the initial infection period. It echoes the first movie, with an ejaculation of barbarity, people doing anything to survive against ridiculous odds and mindless murder. Carlyle escapes. Next time we see him, he's meeting his kids off the train as London is repopulated, 28 weeks on.

Turns out, his wife survived the farmhouse attack he ran from (and to be honest, I think anyone would have run from it). And within her, the virus has mutated – and is passed on to Carlyle.

By the way, Robert Carlyle is a pretty bloody good actor and I don't hold him responsible for any of the following shitness.

Anyway, the virus gets out. Carlyle spreads it, and it moves like wildfire through the new population. The army of course has a huge presence, and in a very powerful scene, snipers are on rooftops trying to pick off the infected in a fleeing crowd of hundreds. Eventually, seeing how fast the virus moves, they're given the order to kill everyone on sight. It's surprisingly moving, despite viewing most of the action from the rooftops.

We move on. Some survive, and are trying to escape the area before it is napalmed to destroy the virus.

Robert Carlyle, infected and mental, also manages to escape; in one of the movie's most shit scenes, he steps into a side street to avoid the wall of fire which kills everyone else. So he's infected, but he can reason? Why can no-one else? Not only that, but he follows his kids to try and chomp them as well. This just doesn't work in any way as a device. It's fucking annoying, in fact, that we're supposed to buy this. Why is he different? No reason. At all. Except maybe to inject some kind of pathos while throwing logic, burning, out into the street.

Even so, there's some real tension, and like the first movie you're never quite sure what's going to happen. I left the cinema shocked and stunned by parts of it and insulted by others.

Yes, it's a grenade, but it's one worth seeing. The good far outweighs the bad, and while it's more sensationalist than the first movie, it works as entertainment with no 'message'. If you ignore the Carlyle thread running through it like Rage, of course.

3 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

Maybe the mutated virus in Carlyle was what made him act differently than the rest of the "zombies".

But then again, he was the one passing the virus on to the rest of the country...so fuck that explanation.

Z said...

Maybe he simply lurched accidentally into the sidestreet? Did he walk like the cat in this video?

http://www.rarsh.com/2007/08/05/why-did-nobody-tell-me/

Slyde said...

i thought that the beginning was so good, that i could forgive the rest of the movie for falling down and dropping the mantle of the most excellent original....