’28 Weeks Later’ Blu-ray Review! The Rage Virus returns yet again!
Sequels to a successful original movie could either turn out to be very good or just plain bad. I have never felt like there could be a between when it comes to sequels. 28 Weeks Later in many ways upstages 28 Days Later, but also misses a few minor steps to what made the original so great. The original was directed by Danny Boyle, while the sequel is directed by Juan Carlos Frenadillo and boy does he start the show off with a bang. I have never been a fan of zombies that run, and have enjoyed more of Romero’s slower moving zombies, but Dawn of the Dead remake and 28 Weeks have defined how to handle the “rage” zombie. It’s because of their story being done so well that the “rage” zombie idea is not so bad when your talking to a Romero zombie fan.
28 Weeks begins about six months after the 28 Days ended, with the “rage virus” having cleaned out most of Britain. Enter the United States Army that has come in to make sure that there anyone with the “rage virus” is eliminated so that Britain could be rebuilt. This is where we get the Romeroesque political message thrown at us. It doesn’t bother me that directors like Romero, Boyle, and even what Frenadillo are doing here with making their social/political messages as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the movie. There are many instances where you will see the political overtones in effect throughout the movie with the U.S. Army even having cleaned out the entire city; they are still there occupying London like with the Iraqi war. There are a few other things that I won’t mention so the story or even ending doesn’t get spoiled for anyone.
As I mentioned earlier, 28 Weeks begins with a bang as we have 5 refugees living in a small cottage in the countryside. Our story revolves around one mans struggle with the decision that he made this fateful day when the virus made its way to this cottage. Don and his wife Alice are hiding out with 3 other people in this cottage, and a little boy starts screaming and banging on the door for someone to let him in as the infected are chasing him. After not being sure if they should let him in, Don decides to open the door and let the boy in, but not before the infected are running down the hill heading their way. The infected break into the house and take out their first few victims, but Don, Alice, and the boy make their way upstairs getting split up in the process. Alice and the boy lock themselves into another room, while Don decides to run to safety as he is being chased by the infected down the riverside.
After our opening act, the real story begins with Don and his struggles on the decision that he made that fateful day.
We fast forward to six months in time where the U.S. has stationed in London and are in total control of the situation. The U.S. troops have cleaned up London and the infected to their knowledge are no more. Don will be reunited with his two kids, which were away during the outbreak studying abroad. I am not going to say anything else about this story as it is something that needs to be enjoyed and experienced by the viewer, but I will say one thing about the ending. The ending has so much action, that I was left unsatisfied with how things concluded. I think they did an excellent job building the characters and moving through the story without a hitch, but I was a little bit let down by the ending. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but there was just too much action and the ending is something that I have seen one too many times, but it doesn’t ruin the previous 80 minutes worth of excellent storytelling.
28 Weeks Later comes in 1080p with the original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. 28 Weeks was shot in Super 16, Super 35, and HD video, so that is why you will notice some scenes as being grainy while others look nice and clean. Anyone that complains about grittiness should understand that this was the original intent by the directorial team. The picture looks very detailed as you would expect in a movie being totally shot with HD cameras. 28 Weeks and even 28 Days are about style and that is what the team was going for. It’s this style of grittiness, darks, and the use of colors to give this franchise the atmosphere which makes it even much creepier.
The audio is in DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1, and holy crap does it sound very good. While other reviewers weren’t overly impressed by the audio, I was since this has to be one of the best audio pieces that I have heard yet on BluRay.
28 Weeks turned out to be a pleasant surprise and is just as good as 28 Days if not better in some instances. I really liked that the new director kept elements that Danny Boyle introduced in 28 Weeks plus adding a few new things in the process. While 28 Weeks is not hidef demo material, it is well worth owning over the SD-DVD version with excellent AQ and PQ which ranks up there with 4-tier movies. I didn’t cover the extras/supplements for this BluRay release, but there is plenty here that covers “behind the scenes” and “making of” that really will give you enough extras to enjoy. We know its coming, but I look forward to 28 Months whenever that is announced.