Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Rambling Review of 28 Weeks Later

It was a movie going experience like no other. I was the first to walk into the theater and I had an open seat selection. I chose dead center. I put my soda in the cup holder and I prepared to wait out the next 20 minutes before show time by playing a stupid game on my mobile phone. A total of 6 other people came in and it was nearly time. I switched my phone to silent mode and got ready for the film to begin. The room went dark and the previews started and then 20 people came in. All 20 people sat in the two rows directly behind mine. They were loud too! Eating popcorn like cows grazing in the field and by that I meant they must have trucked it in because all 20 people were mowing down the popcorn. It was insanity I could barely hear the trailers over the crunching. I was debating on whether to move or not when the movie started and they all went quiet. Completely quiet! For 30 fricking seconds! That was when somebody started uttering the phrases that the actor had just said. I turned and looked in the general direction when the on screen actors heard a loud banging on the door and some kid begging to be let in. I turned back to the movie and they had let the kid in (always a mistake in horror movies, never help people when you are in a horror movie, it just sends bad karma your way). Anyway these people allow the kid some food and he is obviously hungry and he is stuffing food into his dirty face with his hands when one of my uneducated 'friends' behind me decide to say "Oh that is disgusting!" Which, let's be realistic people, is surprising, this is a horror movie about zombies. Zombies like to eat live people.... you have to expect this movie to have disgusting moments, and this scene of a starved child was not one of them. So my shocked and horrified 'friends' and I watched the kid continue to stuff his face when some girl looks out a boarded up window (another bad thing to do in horror movies if you commit to hiding then pretend like there is no outside) and of course an enraged zombie bursts through for a quick bite. This does not offend my discerning palated 'friends' because for the next few minutes of frantic running and bashing of zombies, utter silence prevails. The scene was mystifying because it did not focus on anything and made you feel like the camera man was actually being attacked by the zombies.... In fact I could not even tell who was being attacked or what was going on and I did not much care for that. Then the man with the crowbar who is there with his wife goes looking for her while she is looking for the boy that they let in that ended up leading these zombies to them. See how being kind in horror movies always ends up biting you in the backside? Anyway the zombies follow him up to the room and he is dragging his wife away when she sees the boy so she breaks the hold and goes to the boy as the zombies break down the door (once again helping people in horror movies is a big no-no). She starts calling for her hubby to save her but he decides to save his own butt and shuts and bolts a door and ends up running away while the zombies close in on him. His wife is beating on the window as he runs across the field to a motor boat. She gets yanked away from the window and the husband is the only survivor.....

Enter a new world. The zombie crisis is over because these zombies ate their entire food supply (us if you have not been keeping up) and the US army is working on taking London back. They have managed to have a little city that is home to quite a few people and is beginning to receive new people every day. Two kids are on the flight 'home' much to the surprise of our lovely doctor friend. They of course are our faithful but cowardly husbands kids. He tells the kids a slightly different tale of their mother's demise (which means it will come back to haunt you if you are in a horror movie). The kids are there barely a day when they decide to go to their real home to get some items, like a picture of mommy dearest. While they are there they discover a completely crazy mom who is surprisingly not dead just a little off the deep end. You hang out with zombies, hide in an attic and think you are the only person left alive in London and we shall see how sane you are! Anyway she obviously is immune to the virus that causes the lovely zombieism but she is not disease free. She carries the virus from at least one bite sustained during her zombie infested day. The husband gets infected from a kiss and soon the town is being firebombed by the US Army! GO TEAM! USA! USA! USA! This movie makes think the whole world hates us. Anyway the doctor has realized somewhere along the way that the kids are valuable for a possible vaccine and she along with an Army guy decide to get them safely out of London. The two helpers die, the kids don't but the son gets infected and he is of course immune. Needless to say the kids get out of London and they take out France with the sweet virus.

Through the whole movie I had the group of rejects talking, munching, getting up to use the bathroom a gajillion times and generally be distracting and obnoxious. I was really wishing a chainsaw wielding maniac would decide to come through the door a few times and dispose of my unwanted companions in a horribly bloody manner but it never happened. So the movie was tainted a bit and I have debated about doing this review because the retarded 20's involvement in my movie going experience may have completely biased my review. That being said I have decided either way I need to review it with all honesty. I loved 28 Days later, the original movie. I did not love 28 Weeks Later. The movie failed to introduce anything new to the genre. The zombies, who were groundbreaking in the first movie, were exactly the same. They were fast moving nightmares and the virus took hold immediately. That was an amazing difference from prior zombie flicks where you wondered where the real danger was when all the zombies moved at the speed of sloths. The zombies don't seem to change except maybe the dad zombie, infected by the immune mom, seems smarter. Maybe the mom's version of the virus improves his resourcefulness but I am not sure and I frankly never cared. That was where the problem originates. I was never made to care about these characters. I never hoped for them in the slightest and I was not shocked by anyone's fate. I also was annoyed by the frantic camera work that made it hard to see what was happening and to who it was happening. I know this is a style a lot of up and coming film makers seem to employ for action sequences but I did not like it in the Bourne Identity and I did not like it here. In fact it was rather distracting. Another annoying thing is the movie is very quiet for the most part. All the scenes not involving zombies seemed to be at a whispered volume. Combine that with deaf people and then lines are missed as the crowd repeats what was said the line before. I missed whole snippets of dialogue and was very annoyed by that. Maybe the movie house is to blame there. Well not 'maybe' it's more a definitely. When you hear the Spiderman 3 noise over the crazy zombie scene you know there is an issue. In a positive note I have to say that the teenaged daughter had amazingly expressive eyes and she did a wonderful job in showing emotion throughout the movie. She could have saved the movie and she very well might have had I not had the entire congregation of A.R.C. sitting behind me repeating lines to the hearing impaired in the group. I will probably get this movie from Netflix when it comes out on video just to make sure my disappointment in the movie was because of the movie and not because of the experience. If anything changes in my assessment of this movie I will let you know. If you should go see this movie I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Am I wrong or right? Was this as bad as it seemed or was it a gem that I should revisit?

No comments: