****/**** Image N/A
Sound A Extras B
starring Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Idris Elba
screenplay by Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, E.L. Lavigne, Jesús Olmo
directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Walter Chaw It's phenomenal. Where 28 Days Later... was saddled with ambition that exceeded its reach and, in Danny Boyle, a director who not only disdained the genre but has otherwise proven himself a grade-A tool as well, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's sequel 28 Weeks Later is brutally graceful in its vision of a nuclear family's dissolution as the metaphor for a broader, collective unrest. The triumph of the picture, though, is that it's as succinct and eloquent as a heart attack; as a parable of the Iraq War (popularly called "The War in Iraq," a subtle semantic distancing technique particularly trenchant to this discussion), it's all about aftermath and occupation. It's impossible to not compare it to the years and tens of thousands of fatalities since the declaration of "mission accomplished" when the picture begins with the reassurance that everything's peachy in dead-as-a-doornail England. Repatriation and reconstruction have begun six months after the outbreak of the first film's "rage virus," reuniting two kids, Tammy (future superstar Imogen Poots) and Andy (Harry Potter-named Mackintosh Muggleton), with their tightly-wound da', Don (Robert Carlyle). In an end-of-the-world opening in what only appears to be night (it's the first of several brilliant reversals), we see how a fissure develops in Don's marriage to wife Alice (Catherine McCormack), and of how that stress fracture becomes the foundation for the rest of the picture's relationships and politics.