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Latest Member: darkchocolatevoodoo Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Movie Reviews  |  28 Weeks Later (2007) « previous next »
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Author Topic: 28 Weeks Later (2007)  (Read 1636 times)
The King of Koosh!
Bad Movie Lover

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Must have caffeine...

« on: February 20, 2008, 05:32:28 AM »

The Characters:
Don - Guy who ran away and left his wife; later they're reunited, she's infected, he kisses her, and becomes a zombie. Shot by his daughter.
Alice - Don's wife. Has a strange genetic thing that makes her immune to the Rage-virus, but still a carrier, as her unfortunate husband finds out. Beaten to death by the zombified Don.
Andy - Son of Don and Alice, who has the same genetic immunity his mother has. Besides this he's pretty useless except for one scene where he distracts a sniper.
Tammy - Daughter of Don and Alice, who is older than her brother and winds up taking charge after all of the adults bite it.
Scarlet - Army doctor lady. Beaten by death with a sniper rifle by the infected Don.
Doyle - Army sniper who goes against the order to kill civilians alongside the zombies, and winds up being set on fire for his trouble.
Flynn - Dickwad helicopter pilot and "friend" of Doyle whose actions result in the deaths of almost all of the main characters towards the end - including Doyle.
General Stone - The obligatory mean army general guy. Fate unknown.
Sam - A random guy who joins up with our heroes; last seen falling off of Flynn's helicopter.
The Infected - People infected with the Rage-virus. Zombies, more or less.

I recently saw 28 Weeks Later. And I found that it started off good, but as the film continued I began to feel an odd sensation. When the two kids snuck out, I came to the conclusion I hated it, but I wasn't quite sure why. And around the scene in the park with the helicopter it finally hit me why. It's an idiot movie. Almost every major plot point is the result of the characters acting like total morons.

28 Days Later's only "idiot movie" moment was the very beginning that explained how the Rage-virus got spread. What kind of braindead f**ktard breaks into a science lab to free test animals without even knowing what sort of experiments were being done there? That aside, it was a fine film with some genuinely creepy and scary moments, yadda yadda yadda. 28 Weeks Later is the opposite. Whereas the first film started off badly and then became good, this one starts off good and then becomes very, very bad, very, very quickly.

I'm sure by now most everyone knows how the movie begins. During the events of the first film, a handful of people are holed up in a house out in the English countryside, including Don and his wife Alice. Their stressful but awkward existence is shattered when a little boy accidentally leads a pack of "Infected" right to their doorstep. They overrun the house, and in a fit of panic, Don leaves Alice behind and escapes with one other guy. Everyone else is butchered, presumably including Alice. Don and the other dude make it to the river and find a convenient speedboat; the other guy doesn't make it since the "Infected" follow them and get ahold of him and in short order he turns into One of Them, but Don manages to speed off in time, clearly guilt-ridden about leaving Alice.

So, good, strong beginning, showing us that even the best people can fold under pressure and do something they'll regret for the rest of their lives, and that not everyone can rise to the challenge and be a hero. Too bad we all know how the movies regard such characters. They're all cowards who deserve to be punished, and so poor Don is doomed, doomed, doomed, nevermind that, as established in early conversation prior to the attack, he and Alice have two children who were away....somewhere when the outbreak occurred.

Twenty-eight weeks later, most if not all of the "Infected" have died of starvation, since the Rage-virus is essentially like super rabies and the victims are too concerned with tearing into every living thing around them to eat or drink anything (which is how rabies kills you; well, that and the brain damage). The virus did not spread beyond the British Isles, and with the virus-carriers all dead, the door is seemingly open to re-colonization. So an army force under the command of a guy named General Stone moves in and secures the place, and begins the lengthy process of rebuilding.

Apparently for PR purposes (certainly not practical ones), the army is also bringing in its first group of civilians, which includes both native Britons who escaped the initial outbreak or were out of the country at the time, and newcomers. This includes Andy and Tammy, the son and daughter of Don and Alice. Dun-dun-dun! Head army medical person Scarlet for some reason throws a fit over this. Apparently, children are a huge no-no since she complains to General Stone in charge about "Why wasn't I told there would be children?" when there are in fact only two, therefore it's not like they're bringing in an entire school's worth. But still, one must wonder why Stone didn't tell her; there's no reason he wouldn't have. Strike one, movie.

Stone shrugs off Scarlet's worries and complaints and generally will just ignore everything she says for the entire movie, making me wonder why in the heck he even keeps her around.

Now, the kids in this case are special. There's actually a logical reason for their presence. Don, it seems, has become some sort of government official since we last saw him (and may have been one all along; it's never said what he did for a living before the outbreak). So apparently he's used his political clout to have his kids brought in with the first wave of civilians so they can be together. He tells them a heavily altered version of what happened to their mother, saying he definitely saw her get killed and that there was nothing he could do. He's lying, of course. As I said above, being scared is an unpardonable sin in movies, and the only people who panic and show fear are people who are "naturally" chickens**ts, so of course Don doesn't have the balls to admit what really happened.

The incoming civilians will all be living in a designated section of London sealed off from the rest of the city, which is still being cleared of infected dead bodies and things like that. We're introduced to a couple of obligatory buddy-n-pal soldiers amongst General Stone's mean, helicopter pilot Flynn and sniper Doyle, but they're not terribly important just yet. Anyway, trouble is brewing. It turns out that neither of the children has a photo of their dead mother, and Andy is worried that he'll forget what she looked like. So what do he and Tammy do? If you guessed that they ask their father, and he has someone go to their old home in the forbidden zone to retrieve a photo for them, then you're dead wrong. If you guessed that they go behind their father's back, sneak past the soldiers guarding the front gate, and go into the forbidden zone by themselves, give yourself an Oreo cookie.

On their way out, Doyle the sniper spots them. This coupled with the fact Don found their bedrooms empty means mounting a search party, although personally I'm amazed there wasn't a scene showing General Stone denying such an action due it being too risky. The kids find an abandoned motor scooter and make it to their house in record time, where they discover not only a photo of Alice, but, surprise surprise, Alice herself, alive and well but slightly crazed. Somehow she escaped from the house at the beginning of the movie and found her way here and has been hiding upstairs ever since. The kids barely have time to cope with the fact their dad lied before the search party shows up. Both kids and mom are bundled back to the safe zone and put in separate quarantine rooms (Alice in one, strapped to a table, Andy and Tammy in another, not strapped to tables).

Scarlet the doctor lady draws and examines some of Alice's blood and makes the shocking conclusion that although infected and carrying the Rage-virus, Alice isn't "showing any of the symptoms." All right, you know what? This whole "are they zombies or aren't they" debate drives me nuts. My definition of a zombie is a once normal person who is now mindless and violent, and people infected with Rage seem to fit the bill. Plus, saying "Alice carries the virus yet hasn't turned into a zombie," is a lot simpler.

According to Scarlet, this means they could study Alice and find out why she is immune, and perhaps synthesize a cure. Precisely why she's immune isn't explained but she's got different colored eyes and that might have something to do with it, and so does Andy. Scarlet informs General Stone of this but he doesn't seem to give a s**t, even though she raises the possibility that a cure can be found by studying Alice. This means positively dick to Stone who orders her killed immediately, despite Scarlet's objections. In the meantime, Don has learned of Alice's survival, and Andy and Tammy call him out about his lie, and basically do everything but call him a chickens**t and tell him they hate him. In an emotionally fragile state, Don uses his passcode to go to where Alice is being kept and apologizes for running away, and then kisses her.

Big mistake.

Even though she herself cannot turn into a zombie, Alice still carries the Rage-virus, and immediately after kissing her, Don turns into One of Them. His first act is to violently murder his restrained wife (seemingly rendering the whole "weird immunity equals possible cure" plot point meaningless), then head off and bump into the soldiers Stone sent to do just that, whereupon he kills them. He then heads off to....somewhere. When Stone finds the bodies of the soldiers he realizes what has happened and orders a lockdown of the entire area. This "lockdown" consists of putting all of the civilians into one room and lock the door. And that's it. Considering the ease with which Don busts in, they apparently didn't even post guards at the entrances to the room. He bites one guy, then another, and they turn into zombies, and pretty soon less than half the people in the room are still normal.

These few remaining uninfected people manage to bust down the doors and escape. Meanwhile, Andy and Tammy are still in that sealed room. The guy watching them goes to see what's happening, is bitten by a random zombie, then turns into one himself and returns and tries to get in at the kids. He is shot and killed by Scarlet, who frees them and they run off together but in the chaos Andy becomes separated from the other two and swept into the fleeing crowd. The army's laughable excuse for "containment" has failed miserably, and because in the chaos it's difficult to tell normal people apart from zombies, Stone gives his men the order to just kill everyone - including each other, because more than once soldiers shoot other soldiers.

Andy is reunited with Tammy and Scarlet and they hide with some other people, and when it's all said and done only they and a couple of other people manage to get away from the wrath of the triggerhappy military; namely, a guy named Sam, who may as well be wearing a red Starfleet uniform, Doyle the sniper, who chose not to follow the "kill everyone" order, and Flynn the pilot, by virtue of being up in his helicopter during all of this. When the "kill everyone" plan results in more dead civilians than zombies, Stone ultimately decides to have this entire section of London fire-bombed. Andy, Tammy and Scarlet's group are informed of this via Doyle who heard it from Flynn who heard it from his best friend's nephew's cousin's former roommate, and they manage to get out of the blast zone before everything goes kablooey...but so do a good bulk of the zombies, so our heroes aren't out of the woods yet.

Doyle makes arrangements with Flynn to meet at Regents Park for an extraction, so our little group of survivors heads there. On the way, Scarlet puts forth the idea that since Andy has eyes like his mother's, maybe he has the same immunity to the Rage-virus that she did, which means protecting him is a seriously high priority. Flynn arrives, balks at the idea of allowing the civilians on his chopper. Doyle failed to mention he was bringing anyone with him, you see, and Flynn is afraid their comrades-in-arms will shoot them down if they know the helicopter is carrying civilians. And this argument is occurring while a horde of zombies is bearing down on the park, I might add.

Doyle and Flynn bicker and waste time as the zombies get closer and closer, and finally Sam the redshirt freaks out and makes a desperate leap for the copter and winds up clinging to the runner. Then, I kid you not, Flynn begins trying to shake the poor man off, and flies towards the zombies and uses the rotor blades to cut them all up. Sam hangs on, though, somehow, although he gets splattered in guts and gore. Doyle, Scarlet, Andy and Tammy run from the park while poor Sam is shaken loose finally and is never mentioned again so I have to assume he died. Via radio, Doyle makes Flynn promise to pick them up, although since the park is now overrun with zombies they need a new extraction zone. And I don't care whether or not his reasons for not allowing the civilians aboard were valid; Flynn is an a***ole and every death that occurs from this point onward can be blamed squarely on him.

The new extraction site is to be Wembley Stadium. Flynn will fly over there, land, and wait for them. Our remaining four heroes set off and encounter more problems. First, more zombies, of course. They hide in an abandoned car as knockout gas floods the streets (the army's doing), and are thus safe from the effects of the gas while the zombies outside drop to the ground unconscious. But they're not safe yet! Roving death squads wearing gas masks and armed with flamethrowers patrol the streets torching all of the corpses, and we know from Flynn's initial refusal to let everyone the chopper that the "kill everyone" order is still in effect, so now the soldiers set their sights on murdering our four heroes. The car they're in proves drivable, but won't start; Doyle gets out and pushes while Scarlet pops the clutch, thus leaving himself open to attack. She gets the motor started and speeds off; Doyle is blasted with a flamethrower and dies a horrible, fiery death, staggering around in flames before finally collapsing. So much for him.

Scarlet drives the kids through the city, and they get chased by a helicopter (one that isn't Flynn's). To avoid getting turned into swiss cheese she drives down some stairs and into a subway station. Here, she and the children abandon the car and go deeper into the station, Scarlet using the nightvision scope of Doyle's sniper rifle to see in the dark and give the two kids directions. This sequence is incredibly long and drawn-out and reminds me of The Blair Witch Project since it is almost shot exclusively from the POV of the nightvision scope and thus really shaky. The kids prove to be total dunderheads incapable of following Scarlet's directions; Andy wanders off and gets lost, and then Tammy falls down an escalator and winds up amidst a pile of corpses. Yuck.

Too busy hurrying down to help Tammy to look for Andy just now, Scarlet is suddenly attacked by....Don?! Yes, Don, who somehow managed to not be shot by any of the soldiers during the earlier "kill the regular people along with the zombies" sequence, and then the firebombing, and has been following them the entire time. I could buy this when they were moving about on foot, but how did he manage to keep up once they got the car? Oh well. So Don attacks Scarlet, and beats her to death using the sniper rifle. He then wanders off and encounters Andy on the train platform, as Tammy, who hid while Scarlet was being attacked, grabs the discarded sniper rifle, still in working condition despite having just been used to hit a person hard enough to kill them.

Andy just stands there as his zombified father comes charging at him and tackles him to the floor and bites him on the shoulder. Before he can finish him off, though, Tammy appears, and Don forgets all about his son and goes for his daughter, who promptly blows him away using the rifle. Andy, afraid that any second he'll turn into One of Them and attack his sister, runs off down the tunnel, but Tammy manages to catch up once the little squirt trips in the dark. After he does not turn into a zombie (the effects of the Rage-virus are pretty damn quick), Tammy concludes that Scarlet was right; Andy does have the same genetic whatever-it-is that Alice had, and is immune to the virus, although since he is now a carrier like his mother I wouldn't be hugging all over him the way Tammy is.

So anyway the two sprats make their way to Wembley Stadium, facing no further opposition from either the military or the Rage victims. Here, they find Flynn and his helicopter waiting. Wisely, he holds them at gunpoint for a moment before making certain they're still human (although I still hold his earlier actions against him). He is saddened to learn of Doyle's death, but lets the kids on anyway, and they fly off over the English Channel.

The End

Well, almost. The movie fades to black and we get the subtitle "28 days later," followed by shots of the empty helicopter, with no sign of Andy, Tammy or Flynn, and quick shots of some zombies rushing towards the Eiffel Tower, which means Rage has now spread to mainland Europe, and our heroes' final fates are in question. How the virus got across the Channel, we don't yet know; possibly Andy, a carrier remember, had something to do with it, and whether or not any doctors will follow up on Scarlet's idea of studying him to create a cure remains to be seen.

So, let's review:

1. Andy and Tammy snuck out without permission, resulting in the discovery of the infected Alice. Stupid kids. (Admittedly, she would've been discovered eventually anyway, but the kids still acted stupidly.)
2. Don was stupid by kissing his infected wife, thus restarting the plague.
3. The army's efforts to both protect the civilians and contain the spread of infection were a complete joke.
4. If Flynn had simply let everyone onto his chopper at the park, then everyone alive at that point would've made it and Andy wouldn't have have been bitten.

Thus, I hereby declare 28 Weeks Later an idiot movie.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 05:42:31 AM by Kooshmeister » Logged
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