28 Weeks Later Makes Me Dizzy
Ok, so I bought Danny Boyle’s 28 Weeks Later (2007) on DVD, but I can’t watch it because of all the stupid shaky-cam crap in this stupid, shaky-cam movie. That’s what it is. It’s a shaky-cam action movie. It’s not an introspective quest for survival anymore—nope, it’s just jammed full of shaky-cam crap to make me sick to my stomach.
I thought to myself ‘hey self, dealing with the shaky-cam crap on DVD shouldn’t be as bad as on the big screen, right?’. Hell no. It’s the same. I can’t deal with shaky-cam crap in general, as you can tell from my rant, and I’ve got two paragraphs into this blog post where I’ve only talked about how the shaky-cam makes me dizzy. Remember when they used to have a warning about this kind of thing in the theatre? I do. Back when I bought tickets for Cloverfield (2008), there was this neon-pink sign warning me that shaky-cam crap was imminent. 28 Weeks Later had no warning.
28 Weeks Later also didn’t warn me that it had more crap not found in the original. It’s got more explosions. More gore. More decapitations like it’s Final Destination or something. It’s got more medical gross-outs and people expelling blood from their mouth like a hose. It’s got more special effects. It’s got more weird camera angles and shots of the cityscape and just more stupid stuff than you can shake a stick at. The original had none of those things. And it didn’t have any shaky-cam crap either. So why do I own this movie?
I will say that one scene is way better than anything in the original. Just one. An air attack forces the characters into the London Underground, because they’re trying to meet a helicopter, so they can get the heck out of Dodge. Anyway, the scene is mostly pitch black and the camera sticks very closely to the characters, as they fall down and fight the infected (not zombies). It’s a pretty good scene. It was directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, whose work started in short films, so you can tell why 28 Weeks Later seems so up-close and personal. The movie was shot mostly with hand-held cameras, which is good and bad, mostly bad for my stomach. Also, the long shots of the city and the military stuff seems to contrast the personal tone, which is not both good and bad. It’s just bad. Those scenes are shot traditionally and really don’t add much except to give us bigger stuff like more explosions.
The cast is pretty good, at least when they get to do stuff other than run away. Jeremy Renner plays Doyle, a sniper in the military. He’s not an everyman like Jim from the first movie. He’s a super smart guy and a tough cookie. I think Renner does a good job. Since the story is about how the military is dealing with the virus, his character fits in pretty well. Jim just sorta wandered around in the first one, so I guess 28 Weeks Later is more focused and more polished, but it doesn’t make me like it any better. Imogen Poots does alright too and Idris Elba was in there somewhere.
Overall, this is a below average movie. Danny Boyle admits that this sequel is a cash-in on the name value made by the first one. Too bad they couldn’t use the same tone and style, but I guess you can’t do everything the same. Problem is, since almost everything is different, there’s not much left resembling the first one. It does have what audiences like, such as polish, action, and a scary experience– that’s why critics like it, but it lacks the personal nature of the original, so I think it’s below average for that reason. That, and the shaky-cam crap.