28 Weeks Later

So today I headed out the door to catch me this flick at an 11:30 matinee. On the way there I picked up a water and a york peppermint pattie. (Man, I'm a fan of those patties now!) The theater was probably 10% filled and I think pretty much everyone was there alone. Everyone looked a little strange too. A guy with a big coat and a trucker hat pulled too low. The woman with big glasses who was fast rocking in her seat. The fat dude with bags and bags of stuff. I guess the rush to zombie matinees is reserved for the true freakazoids! Glad I'm not one of those weirdos... phew.

Anyway, (shocker!) I thought this movie was friggin fantabulous! I had pre-prepped my brain for the typical sequel situation. Blah blah. Reminders of why I liked the first movie... combined with better effects... and less story. But this movie pulled off a neato trick! I thought it was actually better than 28 Days Later. Granted, the first movie had the awesome impact of the aloneness at the beginning and the mystery around what happened and the early visuals of the zombs-- but at the 2/3rds mark, I felt like that snarling berserker of a flick sort of hit the wall with a splat. It was too easy for me to get away from it. But this flick kept chasing me right up until the end! I could smell its stinky breath and feel its growling need to puke rancid blood into my screaming mouth pretty much non-stop.

From the very first assault, I realized this was a different kind of movie. Our "hero" wasn't so hero-ey. The patchwork premature military attempt at re-civilizing London was pleasantly realistic. The obvious blind stab at going 'back to normal' was fun. And the range of characters were built up surprisingly fast. Sticky eye visual glue and great sound and all that. Yadda, there is some "deeper message" in this movie like most zombie flicks (supposedly). There's mention of 'green zones' and a heavy-handed overconfident military-- but I didn't want to spend too much time overanalyzing that stuff. Whatever really. I appreciated it was politically 'smart' but I was too busy enjoying the frenzy of it all--  like any good consumer should.

Sure, I admit I couldn't help doubting how much I was digging it from time to time. Like I was liking it too much. I couldn't resist flagging flaws when they jumped out. Getting distracted by the giant leaps of logic. An eyerolling lack of "security" at times. Etc.. But time after time, whenever I ran into thinky trouble, my brain slammed up one of those big electricity levers that lit a buzzing neon sign in my head that said, "Forget that! You're loving this!" This was true. I simply couldn't ignore that.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- The scary parts really weren't when the zombies were around. It was when they weren't...
- There were a bunch of effectively jolty shock-seconds and touching moments.
- The special effects were surprisingly high-end stuff.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- The kids 'adventuring' was a giant leap. Surprisingly, they stuck the landing.
- The action was 100% incoherent at times.
- I would have liked to see a glimpse of the rest of the world.

All in all, this movie does have a few dopey things in it for sure. But I thought it friggin kicked ass up and down the London streets. It smartly didn't rely on the zombies (How many bites can you take really?) It relied on the configuration of situation deterioration realization. The zombies were just the bi-product of that. Also there was also a undertaste of genuine hopelessness which (as far as I'm concerned in horror movies) is usually blasphemously squandered. Thankfully throughout this flick, genuine hope seemed out of reach--- these folks were just struggling to keep it from going completely out of sight. Yummy!