STARRING: Robert Carlyle, Catherine McCormack, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Idris Elba

2007, 99 Minutes, Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

This sequel to 28 Days Later in which an unknown virus turned Great Britain’s population into murderous, rage-filled zombies is even more science fiction than its predecessor.

The major innovation in Danny (Slumdog Millionaire, Sunshine) Boyle’s influential 2002 flick was that the zombies were fast runners and not the lumbering, brain-dead sort we’ve come to know in all those George Romero flicks such as the original Night of the Living Dead.

28 Weeks Later is set – you guessed it! – 28 weeks after the outbreak of the original virus. All of Britain’s infected victims (the virus never spread beyond the country’s borders) are by now dead of starvation and the 15 000 or so (!) survivors of the plague are being housed in a secure section of London where they are watched over by a heavily armed US military contingent. However the plague soon resurfaces again and begins to infect people like wildfire once more. In response the US military falls back upon the old dictum of “it is necessary to destroy the village in order to save it” – the same military thinking that got them far during the Vietnam War – and plans are soon afoot to blow the whole place and everybody living there to hell.

In the midst of the action is Robert Carlyle as a cowardly husband who left his wife to the living dead in order to save his own behind. She later on pitches up alive, which leaves Carlyle’s character with some very uncomfortable questions to answer to his teenage daughter and 12-year-old son. (Carlyle memorably played the sociopathic Begbie in the 1996 Trainspotting. To be honest he was much scarier in that movie than he is here, even though he to gets to play an insane, cannibal zombie!)

28 Weeks Later doesn’t offer much in innovation and anyone who has seen the first movie and the Dawn of the Dead remake will find it to be familiar territory. 28 Weeks Later however makes up for this by being a somewhat cynical piece of film-making in the best ‘Seventies tradition and also being a logical and worthy successor to 28 Days Later.

Special effects of a deserted rubbish-strewn London are even more impressive this time round. The acting is also decent. Even though much of the movie plays out as the trailer leads one to believe, there are still some unexpected plot twists and surprises in store. Without giving too much away we’d also like to mention that 28 Weeks Later has the most cynical ending we have seen since, heck, George Romero’s 1973 flick The Crazies (now being remade) which was also about a virus that turned people into homicidal maniacs.

A worthy sequel that is recommended - even if you’re tired of zombie flicks – thanks to decent production values, okay acting and an unpredictable screenplay.



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