Juan Carlos Frenadillo directs the sequel to Danny Boyles gritty 28 Days Later, set in London 6 months after the outbreak of the rage virus as part of the US army helps a portion of London to try and settle and start over but things go awry, the film stars Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Robert Carlyle, Idris Elba, Harold Perrineau.
28 Weeks definitely feels like a 28… film and carries over techniques from 28 Days in creating effective tension and an unsettling atmosphere but the tone feels a bit different, things feel more expanded story wise as we focus on a group of characters this time around, all trying to survive in London with the rage virus always looming and admittedly later on things take an action oriented slant with quite a few shoot outs, explosions and mass panic.
But something that’s great about the film is that it starts off with a pretty thrilling scene, reminding us of the world that 28 Days set up with its manic infected who would give Usain Bolt a good run for his money in a 100 m sprint, which is part of why they’re so terrifying of course, that and the fact they they never seem to stop or get tired. 28 Weeks set up is quite good though and somewhat of a logical follow up to the world that gets set up and seeing how the military would deal with the situation was a nice touch, things seem under control and regulated as they would, but you know not everything will go exactly according to plan.
There are some effective scares throughout, though the film does take a while to really get going, opening scene aside, which isn’t a bad thing as we get introduced to characters and get some decent drama and build up to inevitable action. This time around there’s a more militaristic approach to how we see the infected and the situation as a whole and that angle in the story was an interesting one, contrasted with how some civilians living in the safe zone viewed the situation, the performances in the film are solid enough with Rose Byrne and Robert Carlyle in particular standing out, you could view Carlyle as the Cillian Murphy of 28 Weeks and he’s a great sympathetic character to get behind and follow.
And though this is a more expanded, action oriented sequel, the infected are still pretty scary and haven’t changed all that much, we simply see a lot more of them and really get a feel of the outbreaks’ wide reach, the action sequences are quite tense and well done. You never quite know if characters will make it through them and even when you think you do, things happen that the plot in sharp left turns, probably leaving you thinking “did… that just happen?”. A good thing in a film like this as you want to be kept guessing and entertained in what is an overall thrilling and decent lead on from the world set up in 28 Days.
. Interesting expansion of the world of 28 Days Later
. Effective, tense scenes involving the infected
. Plot is engaging, can be predictable in parts but also has shocking moments.