Sequel to the 'what would happen if' premise of '28 Days Later' (2002) where Britain has been devastated by the release of a virus which turns the victim into a murderous rage. This time around, it's six months later and the US military have managed to restore order in the population. Unfortunately, one of the returning refugees is carrying the virus, and it won't be long before a pandemic spreads.
Put that cynical look away, because the critics were right. 28 Weeks Later
really is a sequel that delivers, that expands on the original, and in many ways even surpasses it.
Faithful in many ways to the enjoyable, if derivative, 28 Weeks Later
, this sequel sees original director Danny Boyle (who went off to make Sunshine instead) replaced by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo behind the camera (director of the excellent Spanish film Intacto
). And Fresnadillo is an inspired choice, putting together a film thats not bereft of flaws of its own, but one that proves to be an ambitious and surprisingly thought-provoking follow-up.
Many of the building blocks are the same. Primarily set over six months after the Rage virus engulfed Britain, turning many of its inhabitants into deadly zombie-esque creatures in the process, the film this time though sees the American military arrive to help sort things out. Only things quickly go wrong, allowing Fresnadillo to mould a pacey, exciting and desperately enjoyable action carnival, thats got a little more under the surface.
Grounded by Robert Carlyle as one of the survivors of the virus, replete with his kids in tow, 28 Weeks Later
skilfully navigates the labyrinth of sequel hell and really, really delivers. Whats more, it opens up the enticing possibility of a further sequel, and on the evidence of this film, thats a very welcome thought. 28 Weeks Later
, like its predecessor, isnt a film for the faint-hearted, and wholesome family entertainment it absolutely isnt. But its a very good, energetic horror movie, and far, far better than you might've originally given it credit for. --Jon Foster