28 Weeks Later

Film, Fantasy
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
London seems to be taking a bit of a battering in SF and horror movies these days. It was a moribund slum in ‘Children of Men’, under fascist lockdown in ‘V for Vendetta’ and will be suicide-bombed to buggery in next year’s ‘Incendiary’. Things are no better in this sequel to Danny Boyle’s 2002 zombie actioner ‘28 Days Later…’: there are foot-and-mouth-style pyres near the Dome, a militarised DLR, the firebombing of the Isle of Dogs… ‘London’s mine!’ adolescent Andy cries as he charges across a deserted Tower Bridge. In this state, he’s welcome to it.

The meat of the film’s action takes place seven months after the UK populace has been reduced to a pack of slavering, ravenous automota,when resettlement of the evacuated country finally seems possible under the auspices of a US Army administration. We open, however, with a bravura sequence set during the initial crisis. In a home counties cottage, Don (Robert Carlisle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) are holed up in an odd ménage with several other survivors. A semblance of normality is established then shattered, and Don makes a cowardly escape. When their children, Andy and Tammy (Imogen Poots) return from abroad to the maximum-security ‘Green Zone’ in east London, Don is left with some ’splainin’ to do. And, needless to say, the virus isn’t quite as extinct as they’d all like...

The set-up is simple and serviceable enough, though the plot relies on too many fudges and neglects the moral complexity of Don’s position. Nor, despite the fact that much of the film’s carnage is inflicted by the uninfected military, is the satirical potential embraced in the way that, say, Romero would. But ‘28 Weeks Later’ does offer an impressively mounted series of set-pieces. Maintaining the first film’s eerie score and skittery DV camerawork (Boyle did some second-unit work himself), as well as its sense of containment or even smallness, it builds real tension around a panicked underground stampede, a civilian massacre and scenes of firebombing and gassing. A sequence involving a chopper in Regent’s Park slips into Grand Guignol but otherwise the capital locations are put to cannily distressing use. Here’s hoping there are better days ahead…

By: Ben Walters



Release details

Release date:
Friday May 11 2007
100 mins

Cast and crew

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, John Murphy
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Rowan Joffe, Jesús Olmo
Catherine McCormack
Imogen Poots
Idris Elba
Robert Carlyle
Harold Perrineau
Rose Byrne
Jeremy Renner
Mackintosh Muggleton
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