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Published on June 1st, 2008 | by simeon

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28 Days Later

It has been said that people can walk a thin line between sanity and madness. What is one to do then when there is nothing to check the madness and it is unleashed in its purest most animalistic form without a hint of sanity or compassion?

This is the problem facing Jim (Cillian Murphy), who awakens in a hospital to find himself alone and the city of London deserted. Jim has been in a coma for the past few weeks and comes to learn that a virus has decimated the country turning people into rage obsessed killing machines who’s blood and saliva infects people 10-20 seconds after contact turning them into the same.

The virus was the result of a lab experiment that was unleashed by some well-meaning but stubborn activists who ignored the lab staff’s warnings that the animals they were trying to free are highly contagious and very dangerous.

Eventually Jim finds some survivors named Selena (Naomie Harris), Frank (Brendan Gleeson), and his daughter Hannah (Megan Burns), and they team up for survival from the hordes of rage-infected hordes that often hide by day and seek out victims by night. With basic need such as food, water, electricity, and security in short supply, the group heads off in Frank’s taxi towards the direction of Manchester based upon a repeating radio broadcast that offers sanctuary for anyone who can hear it and encourages them to travel to the location.

Up to this point, 28 Days Later” is a very intriguing and gripping film, what follows next is a bizarre yet frantic chain of events that takes the film into new directions, and leaves portions of the film open to interpretation by the audience.

The survivors eventually meet up with a small unit of military men who while promising protection from the hordes, soon find themselves facing new dangers and dealing with unforeseen enemies who are every bit as deadly.

While I will try to avoid exposing any more of the plot then I have, I found the film to be a very ambitious and unsettling work by Director Danny Boyle, who made a name for himself with such classics as “Trainspotting” and “Shallow Grave”. 28 Days Later” is at times a very violent film that shows the inner rage that many believe lurks inside all of us. It seems that Boyle is drawn to stories that show the darker side of the soul and that how ordinary benevolent people can be driven to extreme actions when pushed. I found the climax of the film to be very gripping in how it showed the duality between rage that is unchecked and that, which is contained by the rules of society and restraint. But when society breaks down, the urge to survive and procreate can drive a person to their basic animal instincts. It is an interesting duality for this gripping and disturbing film. Boyle is to be commended for taking what easily could have been a typical zombie movie and producing a film that not only scares the audience, it makes them think.

3.5 stars out of 5


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