A fine follow-up to Danny Boyle’s 28 DAYS LATER (2003), 28 WEEKS LATER is frightening and effective but a few missteps keep it from matching the excellence of the first film.
As the title suggests, the main action of the sequel takes place 28 weeks after the “rage” plague has ravaged England. Fortunately the virus has run its course and it now seems safe to let the displaced UK citizens return to the country. Not permitted to go to their homes, they will live for some time in a secured compound guarded by bit UK and U.S. military.
Unfortunately the first children back, Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleston), sneak off the compound and to their home where they find their supposedly dead mother Alice (Catherine McCormack). She’s immune from the virus, but what they don’t discover until too late is that she’s a carrier and before you can say “Typhoid Mary” the zombies are back in full force.
I use the word “Zombies” loosely as these victims are more akin to the virus-addled nasties of THE CRAZIES. They are more interested in tearing one apart as opposed to eating one’s brains. They are also insanely fast which makes the tension even that more palpable. If you don’t react quickly, you’re a goner.
Written and Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 28 WEEKS LATER is extremely violent and bloody. Adding to that is the absolute nihilistic nature of the film. This is as far from a feel-good movie as you can get, that is unless you’re a sociopath.
The acting is uniformly good, with Robert Carlyle playing the father of the dispirited family. He hides a secret about the true nature of his wife’s supposed death. It also stars THE AVENGERS’ Jeremy Renner in an early role that helped put him on the map.
My only complaint is that there is a little too much convenience or happenstance in the plotting that strains credibility at time and it unfortunately works against all the other well conceived aspects.
28 WEEKS LATER is a solid “Zombie” film and if you haven’t seen it or 28 DAYS LATER, they would make a great double-feature.
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