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In fact, this film aspires to be awful.
A very talented cast and some pretty decent special effects are completely wasted on a script unworthy of the name Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy.
quite simply..running time.
The movie is a pared down teen-attention-span friendly affair.
As has been seen from the superb TV presentation, with a 3 hour running time, justice can be done to the original concept.
This was just hideous.
The only faithfully rendered scene was the whale and the bowl of petunias, made even funnier by having Bill Bailey voice the whale..
An awful movie, made palatable for the predominantly American teen market...
I was checking my watch at one point to find the movie had been of for only 45 minutes... and waiting for the end credits so I could leave
awful awful awful disappointment.
28 Days Later... (2002)
at what point does homage become plagiarism ?
I went to see 28 Days Later thinking that maybe for once the blurb had it right, the professional reviewers might be on to something. Maybe this would be what they were saying it was... a `truly unique vision'. It was possible, Danny Boyle without doubt is a talented director who had got a bit lost somewhere on a certain beach, and was back on form. Well he was, the direction was tight, it looked good, though sometimes a bit grainy, (deliberately).
The problem was the script, at what point does homage become plagiarism ?. We had this discussion on the way home after the film. Seems to me the professional reviewers must all be under twenty.
****WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS*****
The initial scenes though well done were a little TOO `Day Of the Triffids', those who commented that the deserted city scenes where far better than those in Vanilla Sky missed the point of those scenes. A little rich boys nightmare, all that money and no-one to live over. I personally preferred the city scenes of The Omega Man and On the Beach if you want to talk `eerie', even the ending of Resident Evil, a city ravaged by `zombies' held more visual impact, and that's where the homage comes in. The newspaper blowing by proclaiming `The Dead Walk' at the end of Resident Evil was homage, 28 days later was something else.
After leaving London in a taxi cab, we'll ignore the fact that a 4 wheel drive would have been preferable and why the hell didn't our fit young initial hero and heroine get the hell out if the city immediately, we'll jump forward to the refuelling sequence. When that scene started I knew our hero Jim would go into that building and get attacked by a two child `zombies' jumping out of a cupboard, I was half right, it was only one child. Practically an exact copy of the scene in Romero's Dawn Of the Dead', and Peter in that film didn't discuss what went on either.
Then on to our soldier band, holding out in the sticks. Well, they had captured one of their own, who had `turned', and kept him tied up with a chain around his neck inside their compound so they could find out more about the life cycle of these `zombies'. At least he wasn't named `Bub', and when he escapes he turns one of the soldiers. Almost exactly as in Romero's Day Of the Dead (except in that film it wasn't one of their own), but I still offer no marks for originality, and the leader of our fearless band of soldiers is eventually `fed' to our rampaging `zombies' inside the compound, also exactly as in Day Of The Dead'.
I left the cinema feeling cheated, this was a mishmash of Romero's movies liberally spiced with elements from BBC TV's series `Survivors' from back in the 70's. A good British horror movie ??? Not in this reviewers eyes, frankly `Dog Soldiers' wiped the floor with it, that at least held no pretensions over what it was supposed to be. This film arrived on a promise it couldn't deliver, and it seems anyone over the age of thirty and familiar with Romero and BBC's Survivors could spot the `homage'.
and as for that tacked on happy ending, well, it felt tacked on. Why feel the need to make a supposed post-apocalyptic nightmare vision and then tack that on the end ?
Oh, thats right, the consumer (and no offense intended, but especially american) demands a happy ending, well thats OK then, artistic vision be damned. It was a cop-out
It was no `truly unique vision' as the blurb says, just a disappointment and Danny Boyle is better than this.
Homage or plagiarism ?, of course its subjective, but if you are going to sell a film as a "truly unique vison" it might be advisable not to copy scenes and plot devices from other movies, and if you do, don't pick on the same director for most of them, especially on the one who has defined the "zombie" genre.
4/10 (for the teen market its obviously aimed at, unfamiliar with Romero's work)