"28 WEEKS LATER" (2007)
TAGLINE: "When days turn to weeks..."
ENTIRE STORY IN AS FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE:
The British try to start over, but the Rage comes back to haunt them.
HEY, WE HAD TO WAIT FIVE YEARS FOR THE SEQUEL! ISN'T THE TITLE A LITTLE OFF?
We're talking about *story time*, you big dummy! The sequel is set 28 weeks after the Rage pandemic, and all the Infected seem to be dead...a NATO force headed by the Americans is working on cleaning up London and bringing back British citizens who had to evacuate before. Their simple yet profound aim is to rebuild the country, and bringing back survivors who once lived there is a big step in that direction. The promise and hope of bringing this part of the world back to normal is embodied in the reunion of two kids with their father, Don (Robert Carlyle). Don has a big skeleton in his past, however...when the outbreak had first hit he abandoned his wife Alice, the kids' mother, to the Infected to save his own skin. It's been a secret shame for him ever since, and he lies about what really happened to the kids.
The kids, a brother and sister, are naturally curious to know more because they miss their mom and want a picture to remember her by. They go into forbidden territory, to their old home in a part of the country that hasn't been cleared as safe, and to everyone's shock they find Alice alive! That's the only good news, though...it turns out from examination she's a carrier for a mutated strain of the Rage Virus. The Americans wisely decide to put Alice down before she can be a danger to anyone else...too late, because Don gets word and manages to find her first. It only takes one kiss for him to be infected with Rage, and all Hell breaks loose. Again...
SO IS IT GOOD?
Danny Boyle played the part of executive producer this time around, giving the directing reins to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. It was a calculated risk to do so, but the results in many ways make the sequel better than "28 Days Later". Although it's much more cinematic in some respects...such as when the military initiate Code Red, to terminate EVERYBODY, and they proceed in spectacular fashion...it's got the same you-are-there documentary feel that brings the viewer deeper into the story. Special kudos go once again to the cast who give excellent performances. We want to feel for Robert Carlyle's Don, even though he's a dick who could have spared everyone a ton of grief if only he had more guts.
OKAY, BUT WAS THERE PLENTY OF BLOOD AND GORE?
The sequel isn't just better, it's many many times bloodier. Unlike the original, when we skipped the breakdown of the world by focusing on a guy who was comatose when the Rage first struck, this time we're given a front-row seat to things falling apart and all the bloody terror that goes with it. In the most jarring moments of a chase, a military helicopter flies very low to the ground, and its blades chop scores of Infected to pieces. (Jarring and excellent, too!)
BOTTOM LINE, DID ANYBODY GET OUT ALIVE?
Only those with big guns and a lot of luck are spared, which doesn't include most of the principal characters...I won't spoil things by going further.
THE MORAL OF THIS STORY:
If you think you can do anything, like rebuild a country, then brace yourself because anything can happen TO you. A kiss is not just a kiss, especially with Rage-filled spit being in the mouth of one kisser. And here's one for parents: *keep your kids on a short leash!*