Eradication. Re-population. Re-infection.
28 Weeks Later is the sequel to Danny Boyle’s 2002 movie 28 Days Later that followed a handful of survivors after a devastating virus has infected most of the British population, sending its victims into a murderous rage.
Now, six months after the rage virus has annihilated the British Isles, the US Army declares that the war against infection has been won, and that the reconstruction of the country can begin. Under the strict supervision of the US Military, the first wave of refugees is allowed back into the city. Among them are Don (Robert Carlyle), his new girlfriend, Scarlett (Rose Byrne), and Don’s two children. Don lost his wife during the original infection, while Scarlett lost her entire family.
All seems under control until a new carrier of the virus makes his way within the quarantined area. As the only known live specimen, he becomes a vital tool to the scientists who hope to learn from their discovery. Call it carelessness or call it bad luck, but the virus eventually spreads once again and now may be even more difficult to contain than the first time around…
As an exercise in pure, unadulterated terror, 28 Weeks Later is a worthy follow-up to its acclaimed predecessor, 28 Days Later. In this ultraviolent sequel from Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (hired on the strength of his 2001 thriller Intacto), over six months have passed since the first film's apocalyptic vision of London overrun by infectious, plague-ridden zombies. Just when it seems the "rage virus" has been fully contained, and London is in the process of slowly recovering, an extremely unfortunate couple (Robert Carlyle, Catherine McCormack) is attacked by a small band of rampaging "ragers," and the cowardly husband escapes while his wife is attacked and presumably infected. Their surviving children (Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton) fall under the protection of a U.S. Army sharpshooter (Jeremy Renner), but nobody's safe for long as 28 Weeks Later goes into action-packed overdrive, with scene after blood-gushing scene of carnage and decimation. The film's visuals follow the look established in 28 Days Later, this time with bigger and better scenes of a nearly abandoned London on the brink of utter destruction. The military subplot gets a bold assist from Harold Perrineau (as a daring helicopter pilot) and Idris Elba (in a too-brief role as the military commander), and their firepower--not to mention the efficient lethality of helicopter blades--turns 28 Weeks Later into a nonstop bloodbath that's way too intense for younger viewers and guaranteed to leave hardcore horror fans gruesomely satisfied. That's all there is to it--this film is almost plotless and dialogue is minimal throughout--but as a truly terrifying vision of survival amidst chaos, 28 Weeks Later honors its origins and qualifies as a solid double-feature with Children of Men. Could there be another sequel? Thanks to the "chunnel," the answer in this case is definitely oui. --Jeff Shannon
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