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21 May 2007 @ 10:51 pm
 
Saw some cool trailers before the movie on wednesday. One started out looking like some post-apocalyptic Mad Max type world, and after a few scenes of desert Las Vegas devastation they showed some Mad Max looking girl engaging in actiony type stuff. Then they revealed that it was a trailer for the new Resident Evil movie, which is very odd. Not that it can't also be a post-apocalyptic movie, but although i've never played any of the RE games (actually i might have tried the first one for about a half hour before getting frustrated with the controls) my impression was always of a dark gloomy zombie game, not a bright sunny zombie game with well tanned desert zombies. But still, i have a strange fondness for survival in post-apocalyptic type scenarios, so maybe it will turn out good.

There is also apparently a 4th Die Hard movie coming out. "Live Free, Die Harder" or something like that i think. Again, it's hard to tell just from trailers, but it looks like it _could_ be more interesting than the 3rd Die Hard movie, which i wasn't especially fond of.

And come to think of it i think the Rush Hour trailer might have been for this, not Shrek, which makes me wonder if there's another Shrek trailer i'm forgetting about... *ponders*

But anyways, i was going to nit-pick 28 Weeks Later, which i thought was entertaining (though scary and gory) but had plot holes a zombie could eat you through, so don't read if you're one of those people who gets annoyed by such things.

SPOILERS! NIT-PICKING!

Well for starters, maybe it was explained in the first movie but the physiology of the infected "zombies" is bizarre. They can go weeks without drinking or eating and seem to remain in "peak" condition throughout that time. When up close and personal in melee combat they move with horrifying speed, but if you get out in the open a human seems to have at least a chance to outrun them, at least until the human runs out of stamina, which the zombies don't of course. I'm also rather unclear as to why they are desperate to attack normal humans but seem to ignore each other. I guess it's possible that the disease increases their desire to kill outsiders, and other infected people don't smell like outsiders, but they seem rather too far devoid of reason for me to buy that whole heartedly. More importantly how do they track the normal humans down? They seem able to converge from miles away in large packs. Oh, and it's also very unclear how quickly the transformation from bitten human to enraged zombie takes. Sometimes it seemed to be instantaneous, other times it took a minute or two. I suspect there's a strong element of "drama" that dictates the rate of infection.

As for the into, it was kind of crummy for the guy to run off and leave his wife and the kid to get attacked by the zombies, but it was at least as crummy for the girl to demand that he stay and help them when it would almost certainly have meant his death as well as theirs. I can understand her being panicked in that situation, just as he was, but she should have told him to run and save himself and take care of their kids.

So about six months after the first movie the island of England is entirely devoid of zombie life, they all having finally starved to death, and of course about 99.99% devoid of human life. I'm not entirely sure if trying to resettle was a reasonable thing or not, especially after such a relatively short period. It wasn't clear when the military/medical base got set up, but they really should have set some kind of outpost up during the actual outbreak. Getting some medical samples and learning how to deal with the infected should have been vitally important. However unless they were prepared to wait five or ten years, which would have been entirely reasonable i think given the costs already incurred, i guess six months was a reasonable amount of time to wait.

However the strategists who set up the base deserve to be chewed on by zombies. They had the "code red" plan or whatever it was called, which clearly indicates they considered the possibility of a resurgence in the disease, but the plan was clearly inadequate and it should have been obvious from the beginning, especially if they'd actually had any direct experience with the infected.

Their plan for protecting the civilians was to herd them all into a single large room, seemingly some kind of basement or subway station, and lock them all in together by themselves with no guards whatsoever. On top of this judging from the reaction of the civilians there had been exactly zero emergency drills run, so everyone is panicking about the situation and accusing the soldiers of locking them up and abandoning them, well, which they were And as if that wasn't enough, once they had everything secure they turned off all the lights all over the base, except for a few spotlights to illuminate the outside pathways. WHAT? Did they think the zombies would be afraid of the dark? Oh, and by the way, did i mention that this large room had at least one set of UNSECURED back doors?!?

I'm sure one can imagine what happened when one of the zombies managed to break in the rear doors and get into the large dark room full of panicked people.

If i were in charge of designing the place i would have made sure there were at least a dozen _secure_ rooms, preferable with one heavily guarded and reinforced door, or possibly two heavily guarded and reinforced doors The zombies are strong and fast, but are utterly defeated by any door they can't bust through by brute force. I would then run weekly drills to make sure everyone knew where to go and wouldn't automatically panic if the need to use them ever arose.

And given the potential risk they were dealing with i think the really smart thing to do would have figured out a quick blood test to be done to check for infection, and made one of the conditions for being part of the colonization that you get fitted with a collar with a built in medical sensor that constantly monitors your blood for traces of infection. At the first sign of any such infection shaped charges get detonated and your head gets removed. However i can see that as being a hard sell :)

But anyways, once the terrified people manage to bust down the doors and start running away the military snipers start trying to gun down the zombies while letting the humans escape, at least until they decide the situation has gotten out of control, at which point they're ordered to gun down everyone, which they do a rather poor job at. This makes a reasonable amount of sense in that situation, except that they keep following the same bloody orders for the entire rest of the movie even after the humans and zombies have completely dispersed! They just wander around shooting anyone who isn't in uniform and even a few who are, no matter the circumstances. This is completely insane since the infected are incapable of any kind of restraint or communication, and once bitten it takes a few seconds or a few minutes at most to become a zombie. If anyone is capable of listening to an order to halt and stand there for a minute or two, they're perfectly safe!

To top it off one of the military medical personnel has discovered that a few people have a partial immunity to the disease and act as carriers. One of these is the person who unintentionally and not of her own will restarted the infection, the other suspected people, who haven't actually been infected yet, are her two children. She rightly believes that the children are rather important as potential objects of research and wants to evacuate them. It is unclear whether she made insufficient demands to be extracted, or whether the military hierarchy was too bone headed to listen to her, but after the first few minutes she makes no further attempt to communicate with her superiors and instead attempts to smuggle the kids out herself with the help of another soldier. They then of course alternate between fleeing form the zombies and fleeing from the military who have gone into ultra-paranoid overkill mode.

Along with firebombs, strafing attacks from aircraft, and armed soldiers on foot, the military also tries poison gas. The group while fleeing a group of zombies see the gas ahead of them (conveniently smoke colored) and hide in a nearby car and close the air vents and cover their mouths with their shirts. The ultra-resilient zombies who can go weeks without food or water and run for unlimited periods of time succumb to the gas within half a minute. The humans in the car, within which one can see tendrils of the gas, are perfectly safe being protected by a layer or two of cloth. One of them even hops out of the car to help jump start it and is fine for at least 30 or 60 seconds, again just with the layer of cloth protecting him. (And of course the act of hopping out let further quantities of gas into the car, but they were also protected by the magic power of t-shirts so that was okay.)

So they're running and running, trying to meet up with a buddy of the second soldier pilots a helicopter and has made plans to meet them somewhere, but they're losing people one or two at a time. Just to muddy issues a little more as far as i can tell the doctor never tells the kids exactly why she wants to get them out of England, or what they should tell the authorities if they manage to escape without her. Because of course everyone else in the group ends up getting killed eventually, while the two kids alone make it to the rendezvous. But not of course without having one final encounter with a zombie in which one of the kids gets infected and is shown to indeed be a carrier. So one kid is infected, and the other is either in denial or trying to hide the fact so that their sibling doesn't get executed by the military, in either case they're rescued, but apparently no one puts two and two together and figures out the kids should be evacuated to a secure military base on some island somewhere. Instead the implication is that they are somehow responsible for the infection getting spread to mainland Europe, presumably setting up the possibility for another sequel.
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Ambermaggiedacatt on May 22nd, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
Live Free or Die Hard. Die Harder was the subtitle of the second one.

You didn't like the third one?! OMG, it's by far the funniest one.

(Blues Clues, I'm so excited.)
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 23rd, 2007 07:02 am (UTC)
Heh, but that was close enough, right? :)

I've only seen the third one once, but i seem to remember not liking it as much as the second one. Maybe i'm not remembering it very well though.
Ambermaggiedacatt on May 23rd, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Hm, the second is my least favorite. It has the most humongous plot holes. But it DOES have a whole lot of setup so that John can utter the groaner, "Just the fax, ma'am." And somehow that redeems it some.

Er, I heart Die Hard, if you can't tell.
girl scout: readingsakurayasha on May 25th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
what's funny is, real life story, when France was trying to take over Ethiopia they at one point dropped poisen gas on an army of ethiopians, and the ethiopians crouched on the ground and covered themselves with the loose cloth of their outfits (including mouth and nose) and took no damage whatsoever from the poisen gas.