Sunday, May 13, 2007

28 Weeks Later

I was disappointed. But then, I wasn't crazy about the first, so maybe I shouldn't have had high expectations. Oddly, while I think it avoided the pitfalls of the first (e.g. bad-guy military stereotypes), I never felt anything invested in any of the characters this time around. Dad: despicable; army people: a little too darned nice, and you knew the whole time they're the Red Shirts in the story; the kids: way too cute. So it's a different set of stereotypes. Once the premise is set, do you ever have any doubt how it's going to turn out? I guess you could play it as a kind of tragic inevitability, but I didn't feel like it ever got to that point. It was more a "kids in peril" standard plot, but with zombies (and you knew darned well from the beginning that they were so cute there was never any danger that anything was going to happen to them, and the whole premise basically reinforced that impression). Like a lot of current movies, there's so much focus on cool-looking visuals and not enough on characters or the dynamics between them. And the cool visuals of an empty London, and of a fast, jerky "zombie cam" both wore thin early on. I'm actually getting more disappointed the more I think about it.

The end of the zombie craze?! Oh no! (Given the reviews, probably not, though given that my multiplex had it on the smallest screen on opening night while Spidey was on four screens makes me wonder.) Or the gauntlet has been thrown down for a new generation to revive the genre?! Oh, now I like that scenario much better! Wish me luck!


Blogger Adam Gonnerman said...

I just stumbled across your blog via a link on someone else's blog, sort of like how I stumbled across your book Gospel of the Living Dead at the bookstore a while back (it's on my list of books to buy now). Not too long ago I blogged on the topic with a post entitled:
Head Full of Zombies . My interest is more passing than hard-core, but there is something very compelling about this genre.

8:54 AM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

Hey, we like the "casual" zombie fan too! If anything, I think movies like Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later were geared to a broader audience, and really helped make the genre more known and acceptable. I've sold lots of books to people who said, "Zombies? Oh, no, I don't watch those. Well, I mean, besides Shaun of the Dead. That was funny. But come to think of it, my brother-in-law likes zombies. I'll buy one for him!"

9:00 AM  
Blogger Eamon said...

I'm not sure if I would classify 28 weeks as a zombie flick. It is more like a biological weapons project gone awry. There are some similarities but the differences are too vast for a true comparison. All in all, I thought 28 weeks was to 28 days as Alien was to Aliens.
I don't regret spending $20 to see it.

11:49 AM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

Ah, the 28 Days Later - "Is it a zombie movie?" debate. I'm more flexible in my definition in general. But depending on the way the zombies are depicted makes a big difference in the implications of the scourge.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

More reviews collated here.

7:41 AM  

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