A Rare Sequel that's Worthy of the Original.
Chris Kavan - wrote on 07/02/07
When a film comes along that's both original and entertaining, it's a rare event indeed. Nine times out of 10, seeing the results of this "new and original" idea, greedy people in the film business immediately rush out a sequel (or two... or three) to capitalize on this unprecedented audience. These sequels are usually lackluster and dull compared to the original. Luckily for fans of the Original 28 Days Later, for this is that 1 out of 10 that gets it right.
After a brutal opening sequence that answers the question “why should you never answer the door during a rage infested plague?” We’re treated to a nifty little timeline of events leading up to the present. Our friendly U.S. troops have, like good world protectors, taken over Britain and are cleaning up the mess left behind. They even have a nice little Green Zone etched out where the overly cheerful train announcer tells them there’s a grocery store and even a pub – just ignore the insane military presence.
Our story picks up with a happy reunion between a father (survivor of the said brutal opening sequence) and his two children. He’s a pretty important person in this new Green Zone – all-access pass card. He has to inform the two precious moppets about the death of their dear mother (only somewhat obscuring the truth that he ran away like a scared Nancy boy to save his own skin).
Being mischievous little brats they are, the two decide to leave the Green Zone and pay a visit to their old house. More surprising than the utter desolation of Britain (echoing the superb opening of 28 days Later) – is the fact they find their mother alive and well – relatively speaking.
The mom has the rage virus – and it contagious, but she isn’t a raving mad woman bent on eating everyone in site. An upstart doc wants to test her for a potential cure for rage, but the mean-old U.S. brass decides killing her is a much better alternative. The portrayal of the U.S. – especially the military – isn’t very flattering. It doesn’t take much imagination to equate this to the current situation in Iraq.
Before anything can happen – all hell breaks loose… again. Dear old pop with his handy all-access card decides to visit his wife, to apologize for running away and to give her a long kiss… which immediately infects him with rage. The wife doesn’t fare any better, as she’s the only living target in site. The husband breaks out and a Code Red is enforced.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Using the same hand-held, jerky movement from the original, we are treated to some great scenes. Of my two personal favorite scenes, one comes as a crowded, darkened room, with occasional flashing lights, it infiltrated by the rage-infested mob. You can just see flashed of teeth and blood – the carnage is all around, but you’re just teased with the images. It feels just like you’re there – intense and claustrophobic.
Despite the overwhelming military presence, and the order to fire at will, the rage-mob breaks free and runs amok. Our two loveable children are joined by the doc hoping to get a cure from a genetic offspring of the mother, an American soldier with a conscience a few other cannon fodder extras you know aren’t going to make it very far.
The soldier manages to lead (most) of the group to safety before the entire area is firebombed. A decent portion of the rage-mob also escapes. Luckily the soldier knows a helicopter pilot as well. Thinking they’re help has arrived – the group takes refuge near an abandoned park. This leads to my favorite scene in the film I like to refer to at helicopter vs. rage-mob. Let’s just say the mob gets the short end of the stick in this one-sided battle.
Spooked, the pilot tells them to meet them at a stadium – he’s not sticking around. Our intrepid group battles their way through a city – forget the rage-mob, it’s the military that’s most dangerous now. A final plunge through a subway system with old bodies still hanging around – along with one final reunion with dear old dad – it a fine way to end this film.
However, it turns out that the son takes after his mother – and we can only hope that means another sequel as well put together as this one.