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28 Weeks Later
Saturday, 2nd June, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 16:09:30

Last Week I fed my zombie craving with an outing to see 28 Weeks Later. I had not previously seen 28 Days (have since ordered the DVD) and so was not entirely sure what I was letting myself in for. Some friends said they liked the first movie, others said they hated it. So I went in with a very open mind, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, as a brief comment to context in my tastes: I am a zombie movie fan. I love the original George Romero movies, the remake of Dawn of the Dead is probably the best movie remake ever done. Shawn of the Dead is an instant classic in my books. I also own the Dead Rising video game. The Walking Dead comic series is also awesome reading. So really if that list of items make your skin crawl this movie is probably not for you.

The movie, from a film making standpoint, is going to not be enjoyed by all. It actually does some things that are a little unconventional. Its certainly not a film to take an epileptic to (I am no expert but in the way the action sequences are cut and massive flashing of light and dark at times it is rather jarring and chaotic. This was obviously the intention). The first action sequence really drops you into the deep end rather fast. And if this was a normal Hollywood flick (as opposed to being from a smaller Fox spin off studio going for the more arty/alternative feel) one feels that they would have toned it down I am glad they haven’t as the brutality and the shock of the event that takes place really does setup the rest of the film. And then gives the lead actor (Robert Carlyle in his best role since The Full Monty) some real emotions to then play with from an acting/drama point of view later in the film.

As a whole I enjoyed the film, and will probably pick it up on DVD in the future. But there are two things I will highlight that I loved about the film and one thing I hated. The first is more sorta general, in that the movies real strength is that it isn’t the same as other zombie films in the way the zombies act. (Yes I know that they are infected with the rage virus and thus not the same as George Romero’s Zombies, but they are trying for the genre. And the fact that they are different is the point) They actually aggressively go after people. They are fast. They aren’t the docile zombies. This actually makes them much scarier. Second is that the film is mostly about living with the fallout from a Zombie situation. Yes other movies have touched on this, such as Land of the Dead, but I think this is just about the best version of this in film. The comic The Walking Dead is a much better version still, although that is in print not film.

Now the fact that the things I loved about this movie were general, and the thing I hate is a plot element shows not only that they have made a good movie, but they failed to kick it up into the Film category because of lazy script writing. Basically the plot is and the film is all going well, and indeed it continues well after it, but the turning point in the plot is when a civilian with military access gets access to a zombie in quarantine and gets infected. It takes you right out of the film, and simply not believable that the military with all these strict protocols elsewhere else through the film would allow this to occur. Further the problem is created could probably have been created in plenty of other ways without this lazy bit of writing.

From a Christian point of view, this film has a lot of graphic violence in it. There is also a fair amount of language also. So if this is a concern I recommend you don’t see the film. However, that a side there are several ethical issues brought up in the film, and indeed are the centre of the bulk of the story though the film if you pay attention to it. Is the one more important than the many? What if that one is a child? At what point is it okay for the military to act upon a civilian population “for their own good”? Most are very sticky questions, and its films/literature like this that provides a context for such debate without there being real lives on the line, while also being graffic/shocking enough to illustrate a scenario.

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