Uninspired "28 Weeks Later" lost without Boyle

by JD Warnock on May 11, 2007

in Print Reviews

Director Danny Boyle’s “28 Day Later” was a welcome twist to the zombie genre. Simple, stark and overwhelmingly British, it totally worked for me right up until the end -you know, when they ran into the military guys and the plot got stupid. Sadly Boyle is credited as a producer on “28 Weeks Later,” which as it turns out, is the worst kind of sequel.

“28 Weeks Later,” directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, borrows only minimally from the original and it utterly fails to deliver on whatever it was you liked about the first experience. For reasons passing understanding, the filmmakers chose to divert from the established facts of the world the first film created. The mindless zombies of the first film have given way to zombies with feelings that take things personally, a trait that leads to silly plot-central character connections.

“28 Weeks Later” is mindless, gratuitous violence – And I know what you’re saying…its a fucking horror movie- how can you say its too violent? Well, my only defense is that there’s campy violence and there’s scary violence in fantastic horror movies, this isn’t funny or scary. It serves no purpose, except to cause stress with its gouge-out-some-eyeballs, relentless, dumb-ass violence.

“28 Weeks Later” uses the same song or variations on the same musical theme throughout. Like the droning song that appears over and over again, “28 Weeks Later” never goes anywhere, chasing and running all over itself. It falls flat with a splatter and squirt after the quickly squandered promise of the opening act.

I admit this is not my thing, so gore fans may think this is the best use of fake blood since Gene Simmons spit on them at a Kiss reunion show. I typically don’t gravitate to horror or zombie flicks, but I’ve enjoyed a few recently. I liked the original quite a bit and absolutely loved “Shawn of the Dead.” Apparently, I need Sam-Raimi-tongue-in-cheek-funny or a refreshing new take on the over-trodden zombie genre. “28 Weeks Later” is none of the above, just a plodding song and a empty exercise. A waste of a stress-free night at home, where the plot of your quiet evening holds more interest and imagination.

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