This is the place where I complain about overrated films. Warning: some posts may contain SPOILERS!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Bosses: The New Butlers

Lots of people say "the butler did it" when talking about mysteries. I don't know what exactly it means, or where it came from, but my guess is that there were so many of mystery movies/books where the butler did it that it became a cliche. Nowadays, I doubt anyone would actually have the butler do it, in part because of that phrase.

Well, it seems like bosses have become the new butlers: they're always doing it. Has someone killed your team of highly trained special agents? The boss probably did it. Is someone killing people in the witness protection program? It's probably the boss of that program. Did someone manage to plant a bomb in MI6 headquarters and then capture the head of MI6? It's probably the person James Bond was supposed to protect--effectively his boss. Are you a vampireslayer who has been asked by the vampires to help them kill a new breed of supervampire? Well, I have a hunch that the supervampire breed was created by the boss of all the vampires, who is pretty much your boss.

As you can see, this device has been used in at least 4 movies I can name off the top of my head (Mission:Impossible, Eraser, The World is not Enough, Blade 2), and that's just scratching the surface.

But, I've complained about this kind of thing before, so why have I all of a sudden decided to do an entire post on it? Well, I suppose the last straw came when I saw Constantine. In it, the archangel Gabriel (effectively Keanu Reeves's boss) betrays God and attempts to let Satan loose onto Earth (actually, Satan's son, to be precise, but that doesn't really make too much of a difference). This got me extremely angry. Am I supposed to believe that God--GOD!!!!--omniscient, omnipotent God cannot even keep track of his angels well enough to know when they are going to bring Satan onto Earth?

Now, there are ways you could rationalize it. It has been said quite a few times that God works in mysterious ways. And Jesus knew he was going to be betrayed, but instead of doing something about it, he just let himself be nailed to the cross. But I doubt the Hollywood writers had theology in mind when they thought up the ending to Constantine. Their conversation probably went like this:

"OK, so we have that Mexican guy with the Spear of Destiny that hasn't been mentioned since the first page of the script...perhaps if we revise--"

"No! No revisions! This must be done in one draft!"

"OK, OK, no revisions...well, how can we tie up the Spear of Destiny, Keanu Reeves's tumors, the prophecies about Satan's son, and that woman with the insane sister plotlines while simultaneously killing Keanu Reeves's assistant because I hate him?"

"Well, the only characters still alive are Satan, God, and Gabriel--how bout we make Gabriel the bad guy?"

"Yeah--and no one'll suspect it cuz she's supposed to be Keanu Reeves's BOSS! What an original idea!"

"And after that we can just throw in a literal deus ex machina (since God is already involved to begin with), and have everyone walk into the sunset as though the sidekick hadn't just been brutally murdered."

"Good. The only part left is how to help Keanu Reeves get into character."

"What the hell are you talking about? This entire movie is basically a combination of The Devil's Advocate and The Matrix."

"Oh yeah. Looks like being uninspired and unoriginal has its benefits."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Attack of the Clones (or: why I think the whole Bourne thing is overrated)

Just for the record, I think Attack of the Clones was a great film; I'm only using its title for a clever headline.

My real gripe is about the posters for the Bourne movies.

Here is the one for The Bourne Identity:

Unoriginal original

And here is the one for The Bourne Supremacy:

Unoriginal sequel

Both pictures consist of Bourne running while holding a gun, with a crosshairs superimposed over the image. The posters were probably both made by photoshopping the same picture. I would say the posters are about as original as the movies. I wonder what great ideas they have for the next Bourne film (since that hack Ludlum managed to churn out three poorly written books about Bourne before he (Ludlum, not Bourne (the latter lives on in a fourth book)) died). Probably something like this:

I can photoshop better than Robert Ludlum can write

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hannibal is overrated

Hannibal has a deservingly mediocre rating of 6.2 at its IMDB entry, but it also has this comment:

"...I preferred this to its Oscar winning predecessor. It had been a long, long time since a movie made me turn from the screen in genuine horror, and I didn't believe it was even possible. "Hannibal"'s deservedly controversial climax took me by surprise. It may have been revolting (okay, it was very definitely revolting) but so few movies these days have any lasting impact and I appreciate that this one did. And it is, after all, about a cannibal, is it not? At some point in a series of films about a man of Lector's inclinations, we should see him at work. Of course, the horror of the climax is effective because the rest of the film is so good. Hopkins, a little chunkier than the last time we saw him in this role, positively exudes menace especially in his final confrontation with Pazzi (an excellent Giancarlo Giannini whose sad eyes make him the most sympathetic character in the film). Then there's Gary Oldman's Mason Verger who is so contemptible that he never elicits sympathy no matter how he suffered at the hands of Lector. And Julianne Moore is an improvement over Jodie Foster who I have always believed was overrated.But the best thing about "Hannibal" is the atmosphere in which Scott and his team envelop the story. A cloud of dread hangs over this film, and beautiful Florence, Italy, though still beautiful, appears haunted by Lector's very presence in the city. "--Brian W. Fairbanks

3 out of 4 people found that review helpful; I can only hope those numbers are not a ration and that those 3 were relatives of Mr. Fairbanks. If, in fact, many people saw that comment, and 75% of them deemed the comment useful, then Hannibal is very overrated indeed.

It is also interesting to note that the only demographic groups that gave Hannibal a higher rating than the IMDB staff were all under 18. That might say something about the IMDB staff.

I would stop looking at the ratings IMDB gives films (since they suck) entirely, but then where would I get material for my blog?

Anyway, now it's time for me to talk about how bad this film was (in particualar, how the climax sucked, and how it was not better than Silence of the Lambs).

The film mainly revolves around a plot by a rich guy called Mason* Verger to kill Hannibal. Verger was one of Hannibal's victims, the only one that survived. Apparently, Hannibal gave Verger some drugs, and then suggested that Verger use some broken mirror shards to cut off his face and feed it to the dogs. Mason's face in the film is horribly disfigured, and would be scary if it were real, but since it isn't I didn't even flinch. Mason also spends all the time in a wheelchair. He has legs, and Hannibal didn't suggest for him to feed his spinal cord to the dogs, so I don't see why Mason can't walk. I guess he's just lazy.

Anyway, Hannibal goes to Florence. A Florentine police officer recognizes Hannibal, and wants some of the 3 million USD reward promised by Mason for proof of Hannibal's whereabouts. To get proof, some in situ fingerprints are required. The Italian cop gets a pickpocket to wear a bracelet and try to pickpocket Hannibal, so the Hannibal will touch the bracelet and the cop can get his fingerprints. The pickpocket does this, but in the process gets stabbed by Hannibal in the waist. He's holding his wound when the cop takes his hands away from it. The wound spurts lots of blood, but none of the passersby on the busy street seem to notice.

The cop is able to prove to Verger that Hannibal is in Florence, and Verger sends some of his henchmen to capture Hannibal. Hannibal slits one of their throats, and the guy flies like 20 feet through the air. I'm not kidding.

Now, I'm going to skip to the end. Clarice Starling has been wounded in the shoulder. Hannibal that he is worthy of his doctorate (which I always thought was in psychology) by removing the bullet and sewing up the wound. She is in bed, recovering, and wakes up. Hannibal is downstairs. Clarice sees her gun, a phone, her handcuffs, and a snowglobe on the table. She calls the cops on the phone, and then goes downstairs.

Apparently, Clarice decided not to bring her gun. I mean, she was under the influence of morphine and stuff and maybe a bit weak from blood loss and stuff, but how drugged up do you have to be to decide that a snowglobe is a better weapon to use against a serial killer than a gun?

When she gets downstairs, Hannibal convinces her to put down the snowglobe, so I guess it's a moot point.

Hannibal is in the dinign room, serving some soup and the cooked brain of a guy who is still alive. Clarice repeatedly asks Hannibal for some wine. At first, Hannibal refuses, citing her condition (after, her mind is so confused that it decided not to bring the gun to shoot Hannibal). However, he eventually pours her a glass of wine. White wine. WHITE wine! What sort of moron would make that mistake?!? Speaking from plenty of experience, it's obvious that red wine should be served with humain brain. If the directer didn't even realize that, it's no wonder this movie is so bad.

Then some stuff happens, and Clarice handcuffs herself to Hannibal, as the police are really close to the house. Hannibal grabs a cleaver, and acts like he is going to cut off clarice's hand. He's going to cut off his own hand, I thought. Hannibal cuts off his own hand. WHAT A CRAPPY AND PREDICTABLE ENDING!

Finally, Hannibal is on an airplane. He gets out some food he has. There is a little tupperware thing which Hannibal somehow manage to put some brain into while the cameras weren't looking (it must have been really good brain if Hannibal cut off his own hand and stuff but still kept it in his pocket or somethin). A kid on the plane asks Hannibal if he can have some of his food. Hannibal feeds him the brain. The end.

When this film first came out, reviewers were told not to reveal what happens in the last 10 minutes. At the time, I thought that was because the last 10 minutes were so good and the director & co. didn't want them spoiled. However, I actually know that it's because the last 10 minutes were so bad that the director & co. didn't want everyone to know how they had screwed up Thomas Harris's novel.

It's too bad actually. Until the last 10 minutes, Hannibal was a pretty good film. However, due to the peak-end_rule, my feeling of it was that it was crap, the same way you would feel a meal was crap even if everything was good except for the desert which tasted like rubber and left a bad taste in your mouth.

*What the hell kind of first name is Mason? I mean, a mason is basically a stonecutter. Would you name your kid Stonecutter? Of course being a mason is also a job (although I should point out that Verger is the heir of a lucrative meat company), but would you give your kid another name like "McDonald's fry cook" or "GarbageMan"? I would hope not!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Mission: Impossible 2 is overrated

Mission Impossible 2 (stupidly abbreviated (it's stupid because one letter is capitalized and one is not) to M:i-2 on all the movie posters (I'll use their rating from now on in this post because I'm too lazy to type out the full title, and I also want the very name of the film to seem subliterate)) is overrated. It is not overrated by the general public, but instead overrated by a few misguided individuals on IMDB. What gets me angry is not that these individuals gave it a middling-to-good rating and said "This is a movie with some awesome explosions" or some such thing; such a verdict about a movie is one I can accept, for I understand that sometimes people (even me) want to just sit back, give our brains a rest (your brain is less active while watching TV than while asleep) and watch 90-120 minutes of people getting shot and stuff exploding interspersed with scenes where a black cop and a white cop get into funny arguments--hence the popularity of such films as Lethal Weapon and its sequels and derivatives. However, the praise being give to M:i-2 by some people is simply ridiculous. Observe these comments from M:i-2's IMDB page(

"A high class action movies..with alot to offer...what more can you expect from an action movie..tom is lovely..he really is the best..this movie couldn't get any better..I'm can hardly wait for the third one to arrive..!!"--A-TCH

"The best action-film I've seen! Cool moves, slow-mo, cool music, cool action-scenes! bad story though...Even though I'm not much for action-films, I enjoyed this. It shears my 1th place as an action-film all the way up there with The Rock! All in all, it makes real nice entertainment!"-- ekanSdiloS [Wow! It "shears" his "1th place"! That's enough to totally disregard any complaints about the story and give this thing a 10 star rating!]

"No questions asked. I thought it was better than the first because it was easier to understand, and there is more fighting sequences...The beginning of the movie is a bit hokey though, especially the tap dancing part. Another cheesy part is when Ethan and Nyah all of the sudden fall in love.When the mission starts, the great stuff starts. The thing I thought we were looking for, the action. The action is as great on DVD as it is on the big screen. So if you're looking for a movie that has great action, pick up MI-2 at the movie store on DVD if you have DVD. It has a simple plot. You people say that this movie has doesn't have a plot. If you want to see a movie that has a plot looks like a four year old wrote, see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. MI-2 gets a 10/10. "--justincase12387 [Well, I can't disagree with this guy's verdict on CTHD, but why he gives this movie a flawless rating despite having 2 parts he describes as cheesy is beyond me. Also, I find it quite sad he thought the sequel is better because it has an easier to understand plot and more action sequences; that's like saying a McDonald's hamburger is better than a filet mignon because it is requires less effort to eat and has more fat.]

But enough of me complaining about what stupid people said about this movie. It's now time for me to mix things up and complain about the movie itself.

Before I begin, I would like to say that the main villain and main hero of this film looked way too similar, which was annoying as crap when trying to figure out who was who.

The film starts out with some scientist injecting himself with a virus in a lab. After he is done with that, he walks outside because he has a plane to catch. As he is walking outside, he sees some children playing ring around the rosies. All of a sudden, the children turn black and white and there is all this blurry slow motion stuff. I suppose the point of it was to imply that the scientist was contemplating the children's deaths by the virus he had developed and injected himself with in the lab, but it was pretty stupid.

To briefly summarize the first hour, the scientist was supposed to meet Tom Cruise on the airplane I mentioned earlier to give him the virus, but Tom Cruise was on vacation, so the IMF sent some other guy instead, disguised as Tom Cruise with one of those face masks from the first movie, as well as a chip on his throat to alter his voice. However, the Tom Cruise substitute did not follow orders, and instead of collecting the virus and giving it to the US government (or whoever Tom Cruise works for), the substitute stole the scientist's briefcase, and drugged everybody in the plane with sleeping gas, causing the plane to crash into the Rocky Mountains while the substitute (henceforth referred to as "the villain") and his henchmen parachute away, intent on selling the virus for a bunch of money. Whoops.

Now, I am going to digress to another complaint, a complaint about movies in general. Or at least about spy movies in general. Is it just me, or are the world's espionage agents getting more incompetent every year. In The World is not Enough, the MI6 headquarters was blown up. The world's most prestigious secret intelligence agency had its headquarters, which should me one of the most secure places in the world, BLOWN UP! In Die Another Day, James Bond, the MI6's star agent, was captured. If their best man gets captured, imagine how many screwups their average agent makes. Anyway, we now come to M:i-2 (which actually came out before those two James Bond movies I just mentioned, but lets ignore that discrepancy in chronology for now) in which the US government sends a man to retrieve a deadly virus for them, but instead he hires a dozen henchmen, steals the virus, kills a planeful of people, and then sets out to sell the virus to the highest bidder. What sort of moron hired that guy? How could someone so evil get into such a sensitive position, and then go to so many lengths to betray the government without getting caught? It's all pretty stupid.

Anyway, while all this was happening, Tom Cruise was out rock climbing while really annoying music played in the background. The government finally finds him (he didn't tell them where his vacation was) and a government agent on a helicopter shoots a rocket at him. The rocket misses, and opens up to reveal that it contains some sunglasses. Tom Cruise puts on the sunglasses, and they have an audio recording that tells him about his new mission (to retrieve the stolen virus, etc). Then the sunglasses self-destruct. Why they had to use expensive sunglasses and an expensive rocket to deliver them with is something I don't understand. It seems it would just be more efficient to hand him a self-destructing walkman or something. Or maybe they could give him some papers and make sure he burns them. Or maybe Tom Cruise's lazy boss could go over and tell him personally. Seeing as how Tom Cruise's boss is also responsible for hiring the evil substitute who screwed everything up in the first place, I think it would be a good idea to keep that guy's time in the office to minimum.

Anyway, before they self-destruct, the sunglasses tell Tom Cruise that he can choose any two team members (they don't ask how many he thinks he'll need--they automatically know he will need exactly two), but the third must be some woman. I forgot her name, but she's the only female with a speaking role in this movie, so if I refer to her as "the woman", you'll know who I'm talking about. The audio recording mentions her talents as a thief, but that's it.

Tom Cruise goes to Spain. There is a party going on at some house in Spain, and some valuable necklace that the woman wants to steal is being stored in the house. Tom Cruise goes into the house, and sees the woman for the first time. Then the film is boring for 5 minutes as there is a lot of crappy slow motion shots of Tom Cruise and the woman looking at each other across the room. Then the slo-mo mercifully ends.

The woman goes upstairs and starts trying to crack the safe the necklace is in. The safe is right next to a bathtub, and Tom Cruise gets in it. Then a guard walks by, and Tom Cruise and the woman have to lie on top of each other in the bathtub to avoid detection. When the guard leaves, the woman gets on her knees to continue cracking the safe; Tom Cruise remains flat on the bottom of the bathtub, and when the woman spreads her legs over his face, he spends a while looking up her skirt. Eventually, Tom Cruise offers her a job, but she rejects him.

The next day, the woman is driving around in her expensive convertible sports car. Tom Cruise (who also owns an expensive convertible sports car) starts following her. They get in a car fight,and ram each other. Considering the cost of the cars, I would say each ram cost 1000-5000 USD. Then, all of a sudden, the cars join together, absolutely parallel and facing the same direction, and start spinning around. This is shown to the audience in the form of another interminable slo-mo sequence. Eventually, the sequence ends with the woman's car hanging precariously off of a ledge, and the woman dangling off the cliff, hanging on for her life. Tom Cruise pulls her up. Then, they have sex.

The next day, Tom Cruise's boss gives him a surprise: they actually needed the woman because she was the former girlfriend of the villain, not because of her thieving abilities. Whoops. I guess that should have been mentioned in the briefing that was delivered in the overly high-tech sunglasses. (Btw, the fact that Tom Cruise was willing to wreck a sports car with a 6-digit price for a mission he was assigned to with a decadent pair of sunglasses explains why the US government is in so much debt: it hires traitorous people like the villain and then inefficiently spends millions trying to fix what they just broke). However, after about 3 minutes of talking (less time than the total of all boring slo-mo footage in this film), the woman consents.

Anyway, a bunch of stuff happens, including the villain cutting off one of his henchman's fingers for no reason, and it turns out that when the villain killed the scientist and stole his briefcase, he didn't actually get the virus, which is still in a lab in Sydney. So the bad guy now has to steal the virus from the building, which makes me wonder why he didn't just do that in the beginning.

Anyway, Tom Cruise has to sneak into the lab and destroy all the virus before the bad guy can steal it. Through some cosmic coincidence, they both decide to do their stuff at the exact same time on the exact same day. However, the bad guy has research Tom Cruise and has come to realize that Tom Cruise always does his missions the same way; the fact that one of the IMF's best agents can have his moves so easily predicted is somewhat disturbing. Anyway, Tom Cruise sneaks in and destroys all but one of the vials of the virus. Right before he destroys the last one, he pauses for no good reason, and the bad guys (who had no trouble dispatching all of the 3 security guards the company had decided to post in the lobby to protect its headquarters and deadliest viruses) burst in and shoot it out of his hands. The villain brought the woman along for some reason (maybe it was bring your girlfriend to work day for bad guys), and she eventually decides to betray him and inject herself with the virus. There is a lot of shooting during all of this, but the sound is muted, and everything is in crappy slo-mo while a stupid song plays in the background, so it's extremely boring.

Tom Cruise now has to kill the bad guy and steal the antidote (isn't it convenient that for every virus in a movie there is a perfect anti-virus that will make you better even if it is administered 5 minutes before death? Scientists have not come up with an anti-virus for any naturally occurring virus, nor have they been able to create a virus of their own, but I guess once the latter of those two things is done, the former just falls into place) to give to the woman. He goes to the room where the villain is about to sell the virus, and kills all but one of the guards with a grenade to the door. Then, Tom Cruise dramatically walks past the flaming doorway, and looks ominously at the villain as a dove flies over his shoulder. Symbolic or stupid? You be the judge.

(I have heard that John Woo makes it a trademark of his to have a dove fly in his movies. He is quoted as saying that in one part of one of his movies, he wanted to show that the protagonist and antagonist were similar in that they were pure of heart, so he used the metaphor of a dove. However, John Woo really needs to think of some original stuff, for one piece of symbolism does not a good film make, especially when it is the third time that piece of symbolism has been used. Also, Tom Cruise and the villain are quite different, so the dove doesn't really make any sense.)

*Warning: if you do not want the only good scene in this otherwise mediocre-at-best film to be ruined, do not read the next two paragraphs*

The villain sends his remaining henchman to catch Tom Cruise. The henchman returns with Tom Cruise. The villain shoots Tom Cruise to death. But then he realizes that the person he just shot to death was his henchman (he recognized him because his finger was missing) with a Tom Cruise mask on, and that Tom Cruise had been wearing a mask of his henchman and had now stolen the antivirus and is escaping.

However, this scene, in retrospect, does not make any sense. How did Tom Cruise manage to have a mask of himself and of the henchman? Were the masks in his pocket or something? Did Tom Cruise have psychic abilities (maybe he was aided by that chick from Minority Report) and predict that he would need those masks, and have them made just before he went on the mission? It was quite an exciting scene at first, but quite a stupid scene at last.

Having stolen the antivirus, Tom Cruise has a car chase (most of (notice I say "most of" and not "all of") the last 30 minutes of this film aren't that bad (but that doesn't excuse the suckiness of the preceding 88 minutes)), and then a final confrontation with the villain which was stupid because Tom Cruise manages to somehow dodge a bullet, except we aren't even treated to some cool special effects. The bullet also does not hit the helicopter or any of the people standing behind Tom Cruise. (What was a helicopter with several people doing behind Tom Cruise? It was there to bring the woman to meet him because for some reason the villain decided to release her. (Which was stupid because if I were the villain I would kill her once I had no more use for her, or at least use her as a hostage (DUH!!!)))

In conclusion, the plot of this movie was crap, and there wasn't enough action to even begin to make up for it.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

28 Days Later is overrated

In my last post I complained about a film that had an IMDB rating of 7.2; I shall be doing the same thing today. The film 28 Days Later is overrated, and here's why: it is full of mistakes, plot holes and implausibilities.

First, there is the very nature of the virus in the film: a single drop of blood can infect someone in 20 seconds. Literally, 20 seconds. I've done some rough calculations, and that makes it several times more potent than sarin gas.

Then, there is the development of the virus. In the beginning, the virus was being tested on monkeys by some scientists at Cambridge. Now, why would Cambridge develop such a virus? I mean, if an evil corporation made the virus (like in Resident Evil) then that would make sense because developing viruses is the sort of thing evil corporations do (no doubt in an effort to find a way to conquer the world). But Cambridge is a university. They have no motive for developing a highly contagious virus that turns people into killing machines. What were they planning on doing with it? Use it to infect Oxford to eliminate their competition in that boat race they have every year?

So, anyway, the Cambridge scientists (actually only one appears in the film, but I find it hard to believe that he developed the virus and captured 12 monkeys to experiment on all by himself) are testing their virus on some monkeys in a room with no overhead lighting. Their work environment is awfully dark and barren, but when you're a mad Cambridge scientist I guess that's the sort of environment you prefer. Then some eco-terrorists come and release the infected monkeys. One of the monkeys bites a woman who vomits blood and then becomes an evil zombie (technically the zombies in this film are really just "infected individuals", but for all intents and purposes, they are zombies). This is when the film decides to go 28 days into the future (hence the name).

A man (the protagonist) wakes up in a hospital bed, completely naked. This puzzled me: did some people, in the panic of the outbreak decide to steal his clothes and blankets? Why would they do that? Furthermore, the protagonist should be dead from dehydration. The human body cannot live more than 3 days without water; even if the protagonist could live longer than that because he is using up less water because he was just lying around for 28 days, it has probably been at least 18 days since his IV was changed, so his survival is extremely unlikely. The room the protagonist is in is locked, but someone has kindly left the key in the space between the bottom of the door and the floor (how convenient!). The protagonist is able to stand up and walk around quite easily (too easily, considering the fact that his legs will have undoubtedly atrophied during all the time he spent lying around and not walking). He finds some clothes and drinks a pepsi (apparently that is enough to make up for 4 weeks of no eating; it is interesting to note that while Pepsi and other "alternative" sodas make an appearance in this film, Coke does not) and goes out to explore London.

Now, before we look at the protagonist's journey through London, let's consider the symptoms of the virus (which is called Rage btw). As observed in the opening sequence, the symptoms primarily consist of vomiting blood and biting other people's jugulars. While the protagonist is wandering through London, he does not encounter a single drop of blood, corpse or infected person. 7 million people live in London, and despite continually shouting "hello", the protagonist is not able to attract one of them. It is especially important to note that his shouts do not attract any zombies whatsoever (you'll see why later). He also finds a luxury car that someone has parked in the middle of the street and just left there. Despite the fact that looting must have been widespread during all the chaos and stuff, the car is not stolen; it doesn't even have a scratch or drop of blood on the paint! I almost expected him to find some antique pottery, some rare mint condition stamps (like the ones where the airplane is upside down) or a copy of the Magna Carta lying in the middle of the road too.

Eventually, the protagonist (whose name is Jim) meets two other survivors: a woman called Selena, and a man whose name I forgot because he gets killed two scenes later. The woman says that the last news reports they heard before all communication was lost said that there were outbreaks in Paris and New York; presumably such outbreaks would spread like wildfire in those densely populated cities and would also mean that with the exception of Australia, no major landmass is free of zombies--ie the plague has the potential to destroy 80% of the world. Remember that information for later.

Two scenes after Jim meets the other survivors, they go to Jim's house because he wants to know what happened to his parents (they committed suicide if you're wondering). Then, a zombie (the same type of zombie that didn't hear Jim when he sohuted "hello" 50 times) sees, from a distance, the tiny candle Jim is holding and jumps through the window of the house. There is glass all over the floor, and Jim falls on it. Selena chops down the zombie, and then blood is splattered everywhere. Everyone is covered in blood, but Selena and Jim (who apparently did not get cut by the glass) escape infection. Only the male survivor whose name I forgot is infected, so Selena kills him.

As they walk back to London, the surviving survivors notice one apartment has a bunch of Christmas lights on. They go up the apartment building stairs to that apartment, but some zombies follow them, so the owner of the apartment fights them off with all the riot gear he has. Where he got that riot gear (and what he did with it because it never appears in the movie again) is never explained. The guy who owns the apartment (I forgot his name because he too dies before the end of the movie) mentions that they have no running water. Well, if there's no water, where did the electricity come from? This is never explained, but one theory that comes to mind is a generator. Well, where did the generator come from then? And where did the gas come from? Space is at a premium in a London apartment, and no resident of London, especially not a working-class single parent (he has a daughter called Hannah) like what's-his-name could afford to have a generator and a bunch of gas taking up space in his living room. Furthermore, why they all aren't constantly puking because of the smell of decay is never explained. An apartment building of the size they were in would hold hundreds of people, yet it seems to be absolutely deserted: there are no zombies lurking in the corridors, nor are there dead bodies rotting anywhere.

The next day, the guy shows everybody a radio transmission coming from an army base he picked up on his handheld radio. They decide to leave and go there. Now, when I saw the guy with all of his riot gear, I thought he had been a cop before the plague. But when he reveals that he is a taxi driver, I got confused. Where did he get that riot gear? Do all taxi drivers have a plastic shield, club and full suit of body armor? If they do, I'll certainly think twice before I give my taxi driver a tip of less than 15%.

On their way, they find a grocery store. Its glass doors are unlocked, yet everything in the store is untouched. One would expect looters to plunder it, or people to buy lots of stuff in a panic as zombies attacked. But this store (which obviously had a slow day before all transportation went down because all the shelves are fully stocked) is in mint condition. And also there is power and all the lights are on. Selena is happy because apparently during all those 28 days she could never find a grocery store like this one and had been living on candy bars from smashed open vending machines for four weeks.

Now, I don't know if this is meant to be a touch of realism, but all the survivors are idiots. For example, after they leave the store, they decide to drive through a dark and scary tunnel with all sorts of hazards and stuff. Their car breaks down in the middle of the tunnel (I never would have expected that), and they barely get it fixed in time to escape the zombies who came out of nowhere to create tension. Then, as their car is leaving the tunnel and getting away, the zombies stop running after it. THE ZOMBIES STOP RUNNING! Zombies are supposed to be soulless, relentless, never-stopping hunters who would crawl over to you and bite your foot off if you shot them in the knees and bite you head off if you didn't; they aren't supposed to just stop running and stand there like a couple of lazy extras.

Later, the group stops for gas. Not much happens at the gas station except Jim decides to go into a scary and dark building for no reason at all and Selena (who should know better after having lived in zombie London for a month) just stands there and lets him. In the building, Jim meets and kills a 10 year old zombie boy in exactly the same amount of time it takes the cop/taxi driver to siphon some gas.

After that, they see Manchester. Manchester has been burnt to the ground and is still a mass of explosions and smoke. Bear in mind that earlier in the movie (I forgot to mention this) Selena and the guy she killed saved Jim from some zombies with Molotov cocktails, which they then used to blow up a gas station and the taxi driver also says that there has been no rain for weeks (so any fire started would burn unabated). Why London should remain intact while Manchester gets utterly destroyed is never explained.

Later, they decide to camp out for the night. You might think they would have a watch in case a zombie comes (surely Selena would have figured that out), but they don't. They have a bit of trouble sleeping, so Selena gives them some valium. Great idea. You could be attacked by zombies at any minute, and you choose to put yourselves into a drug induced slumber.

The group finally arrives at the army base. At first it looks deserted, but the guy whose name I've been forgetting for the last 6 paragraphs gets infected by a drop of blood from a corpse that was lying on top of a tower (how that corpse got infected and why it was up there dripping blood is never satisfactorily explained) and all of a sudden soldiers jump out from everywhere and shoot the crap out of him (why those soldiers hid themselves is never explained).

The movie doesn't have too many mistakes after that. The only major one I can think of is when it turns out that the rest of the world isn't infected (apparently zombies are incapable of swimming or walking through the Chunnel) even though we were led to believe it was.

Now, it may seem that I think 28 Days Later is a bad film, but I don't. In fact, I think it was a good film--good, but not great. It had some good characters, a fairly original plot, and some of the conversations made some interesting points about nature and humanity. However, 28 Days Later is held back from greatness because it made mistakes, mistakes that could have been easily fixed had the writer thought out his ideas more, or if the script had undergone another revision or two, or if the director had ordered an extra take.

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