28 Days Later
Released November 1, 2002
28 Days Later is dense and dark, but I was hooked into the story from start to finish. Though it is on the bleak side, the film is conducive.
This is not to say an outbreak of a virus that causes victims to maul one another like mindless zombies is good in and of itself, while this can be a commentary on the baser side of human nature and what it can do unchecked. The parallel between the biological virus and a propensity to debase makes humanity look grim on another level.
But what is compelling is how the central characters get on. Our identification is in the drama of these survivors rather than the deprivation although I was on the verge of reacting to the pessimism about the future. Where there seemed to be no hope. But as I looked for something positive, I saw that 28 Days Later has layered in hope through the survivors.
Twenty-eight days after a global virus outbreak, survivor Jim (Cillian Murphy) emerges from deserted London streets and meets the streetwise Selena (Naomie Harris) who informs him of a pack of rabidly infected survivors.
The two stick together and their plan is to outwit their half-human, half-beast adversaries, which leads them to a military outpost that purports to have the antidote to the virus.
Selena and Jim face the underlining but contradictory motives of the military, but their relationship becomes the hinge to develop a bigger idea – love and reproduction in this new age of anarchy and apocalypse, reminiscent of 1983’s television movie The Day After.
But their destinies are uncertain – and something sinister feels as if it is always lurking in the background. Yet their dilemmas are involving. Theirs is an occasionally graphic violent journey and disturbing and we have sided with them and rooted for their survival against the odds which shows there is a good side to all the prevalent implosion in this world.
MPAA Rating: R (for strong violence and gore, language, and nudity) Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Huntley, Megan Burns, Christopher Eccleston. Screenwriter: Alex Garland. Director: Danny Boyle.
Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers.