Reviewed by: Chris Sosa
How did bad things come about? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
What kind of world would you create? Answer
How does viewing violence in movies affect the family? Answer
|Featuring||Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau Jr., Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Catherine McCormack|
|Director||Juan Carlos Fresnadillo|
|Producer||Andrew Macdonald, Alex Garland, Danny Boyle|
|Distributor||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
See review of the prequel to this film: “28 Days Later”
“It all begins again”
“28 Weeks Later” is the follow-up to the extremely popular independent film “28 Days Later”. For those unfamiliar with the previous film, “28 Days Later” put a spin on the zombie genre in which a group of infected humans spread their highly contagious virus to other humans causing them to have uncontrollable, indefinite fits of rage in which they kill all human beings. This installment takes place 28 weeks after the first occurrence of infection, just as society is beginning to return to normal, all the infected are dead from starvation, and refugees are slowly but surely arriving in Britain. The American Army has arrived to help with the relief efforts, and all seems to be going well… that is, until the virus resurfaces.
In terms of content, the most obvious concern of this film will be the violence, and I suggest that any readers easily sickened skip to the next paragraph. It is difficult to explain exactly how horribly disgusting this film actually is. I have reviewed more than one truly disgusting film, but this was by far the most unsettling. While the other films had a clear break with reality, “28 Weeks Later” did not. The violence was sickening in its brutality. One such scene found an infected man slashing his wife, eventually forcing his thumbs into her eye sockets, which in turn killed her. This is only one of many truly unsettling violent segments. The scenes of extreme violence were simply too many to record, and each one had a very, very dark and unsettling tone, somewhat odd for a genre that never seems to quite have a grip on reality. If one were to find the aforementioned scene even slightly unsettling, they would be best served skipping this film.
The second-most concern will be the sexual content. While paling in comparison to the violence, it is present. One scene shows a couple having sex, and their top-halves are exposed. Limited other scenes contain moderate-level nudity in a non-sexual context.
Strong language is present, but is nowhere near the level of many other current films. While language is one of the least of this film’s content concerns, there are multiple instances of the harshest of language.
From a spiritual viewpoint, this film offers more food-for-thought than actual answers. The most obvious and direct showing of Christian principles comes during one of the movie’s later scenes, echoing the Biblical principle, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (NLT). Other points in the film make for better conversation starters than specific spiritual lessons, themes such as the nature of humankind, survival vs. sacrifice, the consequences of scientific advancement, and the effect of America on the world. This film does not appear to have any concept of God, positive or negative.
Lastly, there is no way for one to speak of “28 Weeks later” without referencing its incredibly slick presentation. The mood was consistently tense. The cinematography had a very gritty yet controlled feel to it, and the pacing was purely genius. Not to mention, the score of this film was chilling, sometimes so minimalist as to have the audience squirming in their chairs due to the extreme tension. The special effects were also amazing, with the infected looking more like something out of a nightmare than make-up from a studio. Whoever directed this film deserves a shot at the Academy Awards, as a horror film of this caliber has rarely been seen since Romero first introduced the world of cinema to true terror in his masterpiece “Night of the Living Dead”.
So in closing, “28 Weeks Later” is difficult to describe. From a stand-point of social concern, this film should have probably gone from the editing room to the garbage. From an artistic stand-point, the world of cinema may have a modern-day classic on its hands. This is what makes the film so confusing. I really wanted to enjoy it, but found it difficult. I attempted throughout the entire film to think of one socially conscious reason to justify its existence, but I came up with nothing. Art should be a medium used responsibly, but this film was anything but responsible. The only positive thing to be said from a socially-conscious viewpoint about “28 Weeks Later” is that through its intricate plot, it makes us take a look at ourselves, and we’ve never seemed in such need of redemption as in this film. Thankfully someone was up to the task.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.