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Stars: Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Alexander Siddig, Adrian Lester, Jon Falkow, Norah-Jane Noone, Cal Macaninch, Sean Pertwee, Martin Compston, Malcolm McDowell, MyAnna Buring, Lee-Anne Liebenburg, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson

Director: Neil Marshall

That virus that turns people into human bedsores is on the loose again, and this time it's hit Glasgow. The whole of Scotland is consequently walled off and its inhabitants left (literally) to rot.

The city is kept under constant satellite surveillance, but, by 2035, the UK authorities seem to have missed the fact that thousands of people are living there. They do spot the odd one, however and, when the virus re-emerges in London, an elite squad is dispatched to Scotland to see if survivors there have found an antidote.

Led by the intrepid one-eyed Eden Sinclair (Mitra), herself evacuated as a five-year-old from the Glasgow of 2008, the squad does some nicely tense creeping around in the dark to begin with, but the director unwisely opens things out into Mad Max and Escape from New York territory, as Sinclair and her men come under siege from hordes of kill-hungry punks and, later, knights in armour. Yes they do.

None of the performances is much good, even from the estimable Lester and, while the film is chock-full of visceral (and sometimes eviscerating) action, the weak dialogue means that unintentional laughs also abound. Crazy ending too. Presumably Marshall thought moving the action back to London would take too long and, as his film's already pushing two hours, he does have a point. It's nowhere near as good, though, as his previous cult hit, The Descent. And the fierce editing of the action takes away some of the excitement.

David Quinlan

UK/South Africa 2008. UK Distributor: Universal (Rogue Pictures). Technicolor/Colour by deluxe.
108 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

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

Review date: 09 May 2008