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28 Weeks Later


Stars: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Catherine McCormack, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Idris Elba

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Danny Boyle's startling, original 28 Days Later has been taken by director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (who he?) and, despite the presence of Boyle as co-producer, infected with the blood of a routine zombie movie.

More than six months since the infection called The Rage destroyed Britain by transforming 99 per cent of its residents into blood-craving zombies, the latter have died from starvation, and NATO forces cautiously move in to begin the work of reconstruction and repopulation.

At the outset of the film, we see Don (Robert Carlyle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack), leading a pocket of survivors from the original plague, threatened by a zombie break-in at their hideaway that leaves Carlyle fleeing while his wife beats desperately against a window-pane, presumably engulfed by the walking dead.

Comes 28 weeks later, and Carlyle's children (Poots and Muggleton, who should do something about those names) find their mother at their old house. Unfortunately, she has become a carrier, and when Carlyle breaks into her isolation ward to hug and kiss her, the whole thing starts all over again.

The rest of the film is a frenziedly-edited extended chase, with the kids and a few other survivors headed by a Marine (Renner) and a senior medic (Byrne) pursued through streets of London that are being firebombed and fumigated regardless of whether their inhabitants are zombies or not.

A few unintentionally funny lines save us from nodding off before the inevitable twist ending that threatens us with 28 Months Later. Heaven forfend.

David Quinlan

UK/USA 2007. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Technicolor.
100 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 06 May 2007