The zealous zombies are back in this entertainingly gruesome shocking sequel, though much closer to The Hills Have Eyes II than Danny Boyle's involvingly intimate 28 Days Later.
28 Weeks Later is when American soldiers have allowed British survivors back into a ruined London as the chief setting is Canary Wharf. There will be talk of repatriation and medical discussions of infection, containment, and extermination.
There's no Cillian Murphy (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) or Naomie Harris, but a transatlantic cast that includes Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, and Harold Perrineau.
Carlyle's cowardly Don and his two kids (Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton) are brought back to the "safe zone". The kicker in the screenplay collaborated on by director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) is Don's abandoned wife (Catherine McCormack) alive where he last saw her, though her "red eye" may make her something other than a survivor.
The film abounds in the grime of a barren, deserted London, as the digitial video accentuates with glee the "Rage" that returns, without forgetting the politics of trying to peacefully repopulate after the outbreak that brought terror in the original. The editing might indicate that the picture was in need of plenty of "Red Bull." Carlyle fills Don with delirious energy and Byrne as a troubled medical person trying to be compassionate. Yet, character development and narrative seem to be less vital in this latest pursuit of survivors and carriers. Especially when it concerns the approach of the American military to go after two "stray puppies."
More of an urgency is briskly played for horror and apprehension, as 28 Weeks Later amplifies the action as key scenes occur in Wembley and the Docklands. Perrineau is a pilot and Jeremy Renner a sniper who figure in a memorable, visceral sequence at Regent's park. The undead army is athletic as ever in something less poetic, more mind-boggling and intensely lurid to sate the late-night crowd who'll get a kick out of the surprise climax.