28 Days Later but for a dumbed down American audience…
Director Danny Boyle took zombie films to the next level with his seminal classic 28 Days Later, unfortunately 28 Weeks Later feels like two steps back. This is especially disappointing as it all starts off so well. The opening scene is a frenzied and harrowing introduction and a reminder of how terrifying the world has become in the wake of the rage virus. It is mostly downhill from there as England is now a military state in the hands of the American army which means Rose Byrne putting on an American accent and Jeremy Renner playing an unimaginative stock soldier character.
The scenes with British trio Robert Carlyle, Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton work best as this most brings to mind what made the original so good. Hails of bullets and massive explosions are a mile away from the isolation and claustrophobia of the first film. The behaviour of the infected has changed as well with them becoming a lot more ‘bitey’ to suit the common perception of zombies and there is even suggestion of retained memories and a survival extinct which is both unexplained and at odds with 28 Days Later.
Another disappointment is that key moments from the first film such as eye gouging and the unforgettable soundtrack are recycled here although the opening and the helicopter scene are powerful and wholly original which makes 28 Weeks Later a frustrating watch as it is evident the potential for a great piece of work was present.
There have been much worse horror sequels but 28 Days Later was so good it didn’t really need the story to be continued.