28 Weeks Later
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Writers: Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Jesús Olmo
Cinematographer: Enrique Chediak
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton
Studio/Running Time: Fox Atomic, 99 mins.
"Diamond rings, Vaseline, you give me disease."
-The Rolling Stones "Turd On the Run"
Like ESPN's X Games, where spectator sports get jacked up to the extreme, the walking dead of 28 Weeks Later and its predecessor, 28 Days Later, operate on a separate gear from the lumbering corpses of George Romero classics such as Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. These are not your father’s zombies. They’re faster, more ravenous, determined to chomp down on anything in their paths. They’re extreme zombies.
28 Weeks Later begins during the same setting as 28 Days Later, where most of England’s population has been infected and transformed into mindless, homicidal maniacs. Don (Robert Carlyle) is alive but filled with guilt for leaving his wife behind during an attack. Months later (28 weeks to be exact), he is in London working at a U.S. Army facility responsible for reconstruction after the infected have apparently all died from starvation. (It’s interesting to note that the American G.I. is at first portrayed as what has become the stereotypical, ugly American, but later he is shown in a much more heroic light.)
Don’s children—who were out of the country during the plague—have returned, and in an inventive turn of events, their mother is found alive, relatively speaking. Suddenly, the infection is back and new zombies are again running amok. Up to this point, the film garnered my rapt attention. Unfortunately, the ensuing, axiomatic chase sequences and accompanying buckets of blood bring nothing new to the genre. Instead, it’s just another disappointing sequel.
But Xombie Games: now there is an idea.