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28 Weeks Later

The Rage Returns

Director Danny Boyle injected new life into the zombie genre with 2002ís 28 Days Later. The zombies in that film were far from the slow, doddering undead from previous zombie films. In fact, they were quite the contrary. Boyleís zombies were wicked fast, unrelenting, and insatiable. Nearly five years later and zombies are STILL box office gold. With this in mind we get the follow up to 28 Days Later, the appropriately named 28 Weeks Later.

Itís been roughly 28 weeks since the outbreak of the "rage" virus that turned virtually all denizens of London into frothing, maniacal, sprinting zombies. However, it appears the virus has been contained and a few select folks have been allowed to return to London. Albeit, this is a London effectively run by the U.S. military.

Still, normal life seems only a few more weeks away and there have been zero reports of anyone being infected in quite some time. But, you canít keep a good zombie down. A carrier of the "rage" virus is brought into London and in short order countless are in infected. Once more, frenetic, zombie infused chaos takes over the city of London.

While Danny Boyle did not helm 28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo did), his signature is all over the film. The same rabid, frothing zombies move the picture forward, and the same feeling of isolation is as pronounced as it was in the first film. Whatís a bit different this time around is the more pronounced portrayal of the military as an entity equally as monstrous as the bloodthirsty zombies. Itís arguable who kills more in the film, the zombies or those donning camouflage.

What can one say about the acting in a film like 28 Weeks Later? Those playing zombies are sufficiently terrifying. In all seriousness, there is one other performance worth noting. Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) makes a solid appearance as the father of two children who is haunted by a terrible secret. Later in the film Carlyleís pathos gives way to a rage-inspired transformation that is terrifying and appropriate.

If you enjoyed 28 Days Later, itís likely you will enjoy its sequel 28 Weeks Later. However, there isnít enough about the film that is new or unique to allow it to measure up to or surpass the original. But, itís not a completely unworthy successor in that it gives you more of what you enjoyed in the first film and not surprisingly, leaves the door wide open forÖ28 Months Later?

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars