28 Weeks Later

  • 2007-06-27
  • Tim Ochser
 I was greatly looking forward to "28 Weeks Later" after the brilliantly thrilling "28 Days Later." I'd read several good reviews and was led to believe the sequel was almost as good as the first film. Not a bit of it.

"28 Weeks Later" is about, oh, 28 times worse than its predecessor. The striking randomness of the number 28 in Danny Boyle's original film suddenly seems horribly calculated in the sequel which stylistically imitates it but doesn't come anywhere close in terms of atmosphere, originality or quality. "28 Weeks Later" begins during the outbreak of the Rage virus 28 weeks earlier. Don (Robert Carlyle) is holed up in a rural cottage with his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) and several other people.

A group of infected "zombies" breaks through the boarded-up windows and grabs hold of Alice. Instead of going to help her, Don makes a run for it and abandons her to almost certain death. Cut to 28 weeks later. We are told the infected have all died of starvation and the Rage virus is now history. An American-led NATO force has turned the Isle of Dogs in London into a heavily-fortified repatriation zone. Don's two kids are returned to him and they are given a fancy penthouse to start over a new life. But the kids decide to escape from the security zone to go back to their old house and get some belongings.

There they find their mother who is, of course, infected with the Rage virus. And so begins a sequence of events that leads to the recrudescence of the virus and all-out chaos in London. When it becomes clear that the army has lost control of the situation, the military commander dramatically utters the words "Execute Code Red," which really means "destroy everything." The problem with "28 Weeks Later" is that you don't care about any of the characters.

They're just props for the frenetic, action-driven narrative. Don's original act of cowardice in abandoning his wife would have been an interesting theme to develop but doesn't lead anywhere except the inevitable outbreak of a new infection. The film certainly looks good but that's its sole quality.

Its use of famous London landmarks as a backdrop 's Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Millennium Dome, St. Paul's, even the new Wembley Stadium 's epitomizes the thoroughly superficial nature of this tedious, pointless sequel. I can think of at last 28 good reasons not to watch it. 

Please enter your username and password.