Title: 28 Weeks Later (2007)
U.S. Theatrical Release Date: May 11, 2007
Tagline: "WHEN DAYS TURN INTO WEEKS..."
In 2002 the creative team of director Danny Boyle, writer Alex Garland and producer Andrew Macdonald unleashed upon the silver screen their biological vision of a world gone terribly wrong, a film titled "28 Days Later". A virus known as 'Rage' is being tested on primates. After animal rights activists attempt to free the 'test' subjects, they themselves become infected with the virus. The virus is transmitted via direct contact with blood and/or bodily fluids. The infected are almost instantaneously transformed into snarling, violent killers, with physical destruction being their only mindless priority. The virus spreads rapidly and effectively wipes out the human population of England and presumably the entire British Isles within a short month's period.
With director Boyle ("Trainspotting"
) and screenwriter Garland consumed with the upcoming sci-fi flick "Sunshine", directorial duties for the sequel were handed over to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (who also co-wrote the screenplay), and he takes the reins admirably.
"28 Weeks Later" picks up approximately six to seven months later after the end of the first film. The epidemic (perhaps too efficient for it's own good) has apparently exhausted itself. American military forces have taken control of the devastated area of central London and created a safe "green zone" headed by General Stone (Idris Elba). The financial section of the city has been divided into 'districts' utilizing the great towering buildings as apartment style housing for 15,000 'uninfected' refugees, who are being brought back into London from European safehouses, in an attempt to revitalize and repopulate the ravaged city.
One inhabitant of the reclaimed city is Don (Robert Carlyle), a freshly positioned public servant in the new found sanctuary. Don had escaped a savage attack by a horde of the infected upon a little cottage, where he abandoned his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) and a small group of survivors just weeks earlier and has taken refuge and found a new life in the green zone.
Included in one of planeloads of refugees being reintroduced to the city are Don and Alice's children, siblings Tammy (Imogen Poots) and her younger brother Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton). They are soon reunited with their father and are naturally curious as to their mother's fate. Don painfully explains that there was no way he could save their mother during the attack by the infected.
Restless as children are, the children sneak out of the safe zone to collect some personal effects from their old home. This obviously does not go unnoticed by the military. Arriving at their house the kids discover that Alice is still alive. Upon being returned to the 'safe zone' by the soldiers and placed in quarantine at the military medical facility, Alice undergoes a series of examinations by Dr. Scarlett (Rose Byrne), where she is discovered to be a carrier of 'Rage'. Her surviving as she has, may hold the key to developing an antidote to the virus, and those genetic traits might very well have been passed on to Andy and Tammy. The children get permission to visit the facility to see their mother.
Don gains access to the medical facility and pathetically tries to justify his actions to his oblivious wife. He kisses Alice and immediately becomes infected. In a rage he kills Alice. He also attacks and infects a small number of soldiers and the virus begins to rapidly spread once again. Scarlett acknowledges the situation is getting out of control and she and the children flee for safety. The ever increasing number of infected soldiers breach quarantine and begin to infect the general population outside of the military installation. General Stone realizes the new outbreak cannot be contained and executes "Code:Red". Rooftop snipers including one GI named Doyle (Jeremy Renner) are ordered to begin to shoot the infected. However, the chaos that ensues in the streets makes it impossible to distinguish the infected from those that are not. The snipers are then ordered to shoot everyone that is on street level, including their own men.
Doyle abandons his post on moral grounds. He finds Scarlett, Tammy, Andy and a few other survivors hiding in a storage warehouse. Here, the bantam band of uninfected begin their effort to escape the once 'green zone', which is now being firebombed and dusted with chemical agents via military air strike in an attempt to contain the revived viral outbreak.
The film's opening sequence is nothing less than horrific brilliance, and the frenetic pacing of the entire film only occasionally gives the viewer a chance to take a gasping breath. (the movie is so effective in it's pandemonium that once this reviewer left the theater, and out into the light of the real world, sitting or standing still did not feel natural. We've GOT to KEEP MOVING!!!). The cinematography is dark, brooding and mood-invoking, portraying such disturbing images as an essentially lifeless London, the air strike induced firestorm sweeping through the streets of the financial district and heading toward the Docklands, clouds of nerve gas gently floating through Westminster, and the terrifying aspect of navigating the pitch black, body strewn London Underground railway system.
And lest we forget, the only thing scarier than a plodding, lumbering 'zombie' (which the term just doesn't apply here) is an amped, adrenaline charged, incensed victim of the Rage virus. And the viewer is allowed to see these infected attacks in all of their grisly, excruciating detail.
Here's hoping the movie doesn't get lumped in with other films of the 'zombie' genre. Because aside from it's general theme, it's also an examination of the extremes that people in authority will go to when confronted by what they view as an undefeatable crisis. A very intense, visceral thrill ride and a genuinely frightening movie.
This reviewer's prediction, based upon the final shot in the film, it's probably safe to expect "28 Months
Later" coming to your 'multi-plex' in the future.
Rating: 3-1/2 'fateful apologies' out of 5
TITLE: 28 Weeks Later (2007) ~ STUDIO: Fox Atomic ~ MPAA RATING: *R* for Strong Violence and Gore, Language and some Nudity/Sexuality ~ RUNNING TIME: 99 Minutes ~ STARRING: Catherine McCormack, Robert Carlyle, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Idris Elba ~ DIRECTED BY: Juan Carlos FresnadilloThe opinions expressed herein are those solely of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of 'Jonja.net' nor it's owner.We do reviews and updates of projects of Sci-Fi movies, television, and books. As well as Horror, Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Anime.
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