28 Weeks Later * * *

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Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
Screenplay: Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Enrique Lopez Lavigne, Jesus Olmo.
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau Jr, Rose Byrne, Catherine McCormack, Idris Elba, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Amanda Walker.

Sequels to successful films are very rarely ever as good as the original but with Danny Boyle involved as a producer, this manages to retain the success and similiar style he had with his first installment “28 Days Later”.

Six months have passed since the outbreak of the rage virus and Britain has now been emptied. There’s nobody there. It’s completely dead. Now the American army occupy the cities and have plans to start bringing the country back from it’s infestation. But, of course, something goes wrong…

As story arcs go, this film is pretty unconventional, where instead of our protaganist Don (Robert Carlyle), being heroic and macho, he is actually quite sensitive and cowardly, and that’s only the opening scene. Things get much worse. Right from the beginning, we are thrust into some unbearable kinetic excitement and Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnidillo does a fantastic job with his handheld camerawork. A highly effective technique in placing us closer to the action. Carlyle delivers a good performance in what is a very underwritten role, but then zombie flicks dont normally spend a lot of time on characterisation. I just wish someone would give Carlyle a role that best fits this great actor’s talents. Despite the underwritten roles though, the cast still make you care enough for them which is at least something considering there are gaping plot holes which are laughable at times. However, there’s no denying some first-class action and suspense set pieces, namely the opening chase scene and the darkened train tunnel with only a night vision scope as our means of seeing anything.

Visceral and exciting, the way a zombie film should be, and a fine second installment in what is being touted as a possible trilogy.

Mark Walker

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