Day By Day

Friday, May 25, 2007

At the Movies -- 28 Weeks Later

"She Who Must Not Be Named" and I went to the movies yesterday. She just wanted to get out of the house — I was sort of intrigued by the new zombie pic out of Britain, so we tooled down to Reading to see “28 Weeks Later,” the sequel to Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later” . It was a fun action/horror flick — reminded me a lot of “Aliens”, James Cameron’s action sequel to Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” Lots of action, lots of gore, a few good scares. I liked it.

Some of the critics have tried to see the film as a commentary on or indictment of US involvement in Iraq. I’m not buying it. There is a “green zone” and US troops are prominently featured, trying to keep things under control and failing, but those seem to have been thrown in as critics chum, just to give them something to speculate about. If we took that line of thinking seriously we would have to see the Islamists as mindless, savage killer zombies and a plague infecting the world. I doubt that most left-leaning critics [and there are few who are not] would accept that.

Whereas the first film in the series dealt interestingly with a number of levels of human interaction, this one is much simpler. It has one big idea — the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Throughout the film catastrophe results from good people reacting in a sympathetic, compassionate manner to real human needs. The director, Juan Fresnadillo, exploits this trope time and again and in doing so gives the viewer a lot to think about. It is possible to see the whole thing as a right-wing realist critique of both liberal pieties and “compassionate conservatism.”

The film has a lot to recommend it. Excellent pacing, interesting camera work, and marvelously evocative use of London locales. There are excellent performances by Robert Carlyle [the guy from the “Full Monty”], Catherine McCormack [the babe from “Braveheart”], and Rose Byrne [the hot babe from “Troy”], but the real revelation is a young kid named Imogen Poot [no, I didn’t make it up]. She is going to be a world-class beauty one of these days, and this film shows her off to full advantage, then twists the knife when the survivors descend into hell [the Chunnel] by showing her in some of the most grotesque, spooky and haunting sequences ever filmed.

I had a good time. "She" endured all the carnage in good spirits with only occasional cringes and tried to say some nice things about the movie afterwards. Now I suppose she figures that I owe her a trip to the next chick flick.

By the way, the previews for the upcoming “Silver Surfer”flick do not look good. Once again they’ve made Jessica Alba look bad. I know you think that's beyond the realm of possibility, but they managed it, damn them.