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Another Reader Infected By 28 WEEKS LATER!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. This is one of the sequels I’m most looking forward to this year. I think Fresnadillo was a fascinating choice to replace Danny Boyle, and it sounds like they’ve actually told a better story this time around. As much as I liked Boyle’s ideas in the first film, the second half was a let-down in narrative terms. Here, it sounds like they’ve taken full advantage of the situation that’s been established, and I’m really curious to see how it plays out:

Hi Aint It Cool Gang... Lightwave7871 here again, I wrote to you about the Spiderman 3 screening a few days back. I managed to catch 28 Weeks Later the same day at a Fox Screening and have finally gotten round to writing this review, warning though there's plenty of spoilers in here...... 28 Weeks Later is the sequel to Danny Boyles original "not a zombie" movie 28 Days Later, directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who directed the excellent (in my opinion) Intacto. The movie starts off during the same time as the original as the rage infection runs rampant over the British Isles. We focus on a small group of survivors living in a boarded up house who include husband and wife Don and Alice, played by Robert Carlyle and Catherine McCormack, who, we learn have two children who were overseas when the infection initially broke out. All seems fine and the group seem safe until a small boy on the run from a horde of the infected leads seeks refuge in Don & Alice's hideout leading the infected straight to them. This kicks off a frenetic and visceral attack on the house by the infected resulting in only Don escaping, leaving Alice behind when he panics and runs leaving his wife, the boy and the rest of the survivors to their fate. This opening sets the scene perfectly and reminds you how scary the infected were. After this we're given a brief run of credits that inform us of what has happened in the intervening six months, with the UK being quarantined, the rage virus apparently dying out along with its victims and finally after the Americans send scouts back to the UK the island is declared safe, 28 weeks later. From here on in we're given the basic set up, that the Isle of dogs in the heart of London has been totally decontaminated of any infected bodies and survivors and refugees are being temporarily housed in the central city area until the rest of London is cleared. All around the US Army and Air force patrol, led by Idris Elba as General Stone and Rose Byrne as the lead military scientist Scarlet, snipers are on the roof of every building "just in case", one of these snipers is Sgt Doyle, played by Jeremy Renner, who initially isn't given much to do but soon comes in to his own. Meanwhile, we return to Don who is now a janitor in the city, meeting his kids he thought he'd never see again, Andy and Tammy, played by newcomer Mackintosh Muggleton and Imogen Poots who was seen briefly in V for Vendetta. The meeting is bitter sweet as the children now have to face up to the reality their mother is dead, while Don, unable to confess his moment of cowardice was the reason for her death, lies about the circumstances surrounding Alice's death. Still feeling understandably upset at the loss, the children decide to break out of the city to return to their original home to recover some personal belongings, Andy wants a photo of his mum in case he "forgets her" and its once the children get to the home they discover, as do the Army who have been tracking the children since they escaped, that Alice isn't dead at all... It seems that Alice, carries a gene that gives her an immunity to the Rage virus but does not neutralise it, effectively making her Typhoid Mary of the Rage infection. And it this small detail that starts everything off again as Don, hearing his wife is still alive decides to see her to ask for forgiveness and to clear his guilt at abandoning her. This culminates in Don kissing Alice and becoming one of the new infected. From here on in what we're treated to is a combination of Romero's Land of the dead (City sanctuary suddenly becomes a deadly enclosure) and the original 28 Days Later as a small band of survivors of the initial outbreak attempt to escape not only the infected but the military, who are cleared to shoot, napalm and chemically gas everyone once they rapidly lose control of the situation and the infection spreads like wild fire through the city. Scarlet is one of the survivors and once she realises that Alice was resistant to the Rage, she sets out to get Andy and Tammy to safety, seeing the two children as possible carriers of the resistant DNA which could be used to develop an inoculation. Scarlet, Andy & Tammy are joined by Sgt Doyle who abandons his post once he's asked to fire on civilians and the four make a break to escape the city, all the while being stalked by the now infected Don. Overall there's a lot to like about 28 Weeks Later if you were a fan of the original; while the DV cam graininess has been replaced with standard film, the camera work, especially when you get a POV of the infected is remarkably close to the original. The visual scope of the film has expanded so that rather than a lot of shots of single empty locations we're treated to lots of digitally treated helicopter shots of an utterly dead London which work rather well. There are scenes in this film which almost feel like a fan of the original decided to make shots that were only mentioned in the first film, such as the story told in the original film to Cillian Murphy, about the Rage virus spreading through Paddington Station; In 28 Weeks later you get to see how that sort of crowed rapid infection would have occurred. The acting is competent enough with only Robert Carlyle standing out as Don, especially in the opening sequence, until he becomes infected at which point he simply becomes a cross between Day of the Dead's Bub and a Rage victim. Lost's Harold Perrineau appears as helicopter pilot Flynn, but has little to do beyond sit in a chopper barking at Doyle as the survivors look for an extraction point, although he does get one sequence that almost seems to be a nod to the original; Dawn of the Dead's zombie death by rotor blades which is pretty cool. What doesn't work is the use of a "hero zombie" in Don, which gives the film a single big bad to be faced and doesn't sit well within the films own internal logic of how the Rage virus works. For me personally, I hate the trend of taking a horde mentality monster, such as zombies, the Alien and the Borg and giving them a Queen or similar that gives the audience something to cheer when its killed as it robs the monster of its faceless horror element. Also once the infected are loose, characters such as General Stone get lost in the pacing as the focus shifts completely to Scarlet & co. Additionally given the high military presence in the safe zone, the idea that two kids can escape to kick everything off in the first place a stretches the credibility, especially given how long the kids are left to run free before the military move in. But these quibbles aside, once the film gets in to gear after a slow set up, and Don is infected 28 Weeks Later sends you on a roller coaster ride concluding in a suitably apocalyptic way, which those who disliked the happy ending of the first film will find more satisfying. If you didn't like the first film there'll be little to draw you back in as the film does cover a lot of the same ground as the original, but for fans, this film will be a pleasant surprise, its by no means perfect but in the end its a far better film than you would have expected with a greater scope than the original, and a assured grip on the tension, that rarely lets up till the end, leaving you physically exhausted by the time you leave the theatre.....
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