Eradication. Re-population. Re-infection. 28 Weeks Later is the sequel to Danny Boyle’s 2002 movie 28 Days Later that followed a handful of survivors after a devastating virus has infected most of the British population, sending its victims into a murderous rage. Now, six months after the rage virus has annihilated the British Isles, the US Army declares that the war against infection has been won, and that the reconstruction of the country can begin. Under the strict supervision of the US Military, the first wave of refugees is allowed back into the city. Among them are Don (Robert Carlyle), his new girlfriend, Scarlett (Rose Byrne), and Don’s two children. Don lost his wife during the original infection, while Scarlett lost her entire family.
All seems under control until a new carrier of the virus makes his way within the quarantined area. As the only known live specimen, he becomes a vital tool to the scientists who hope to learn from their discovery. Call it carelessness or call it bad luck, but the virus eventually spreads once again and now may be even more difficult to contain than the first time around...
While it will help if you have seen 28 Days Later, it's not a requirement for this sequel. The characters are entirely new and it's not hard to imagine what preceded the events here. This movie includes a great 10 minute "prologue" of sorts which shows what it was like at the height of the original outbreak. As a sequel this is quite an impressive film which stands up to the quality of the first movie with quite a few frights and thrills. Indeed some scenes really do stand out from the superb opening scene which fills in the events that took place 28 weeks earlier, a helicopter scene flying over hundreds of zombies in the fields below, and the orders issued to soldiers when the outbreak first gets out. Indeed this movie makes the viewer think about what really would happen in such circumstances. It's a scary thought.
If you liked 28 Days Later then this sequel will certainly impress you. It links in with the original story, but you don't have to have seen that movie due to the nice little intro before the credits in this sequel. The action is relentless, the acting pretty solid, and the storyline intense.
Having said that though the overall video quality of this Blu-Ray release isn't quite the pristine presentation we were hoping for. We can't however blame the Blu-Ray format or the encoding, with the majority of the issues stemming from the original theatrical print. The film was shot on a mixture of Super 16, Super 35 and even HD Video, which gives the picture an inconsistent look throughout. There is a tonne of film grain in some of the scenes, particularly darker ones, while any special effects shots shot in Super 35 show a marked sharpness and reduction in grain which almost takes you out of the experience. Still, can you fault a solid transfer due to a poor original source material? We say no.
As well as the main audio track the disc includes English Descriptive Audio at 384kbps, and German and Spanish DTS tracks at 768kbps. After sampling each track for a few moments I am sure you won't be disappointed. Subtitles are provided in 9 different languages including English for the Hearing Impaired. If there is one complaint to be made, and this really is a complaint I could level at many discs, it's that there isn't just an English subtitle which covers the words, without descriptions of other sounds. I have friends who want the subtitles for speech (as they can read English better then listen to it), but don't need the descriptions of other noises and effects.
Code Red: Making of 28 Weeks Later (13:06/HD): While it comes across as an EPK, this actually has a couple of interesting interviews, and details about the production of the movie.
The Infected (6:57/HD): A short featurette about the Infected people in the movie, and what it was like having them walking around on set and the amount of training that went into their roles for the movie.
Getting Into The Action (7:13/HD): Another short featurette which looks at the action sequences in the movie. More EPK then actual documentary but there are a couple of nice behind the scenes sequences, and interviews.
28 Days Later: The Aftermath: Stage 1 'Development' and 28 Days Later: The Aftermath: Stage 3 'Decimation' (12:20): These two features are interesting additions in that they are essentially animated, and voiced, graphic novels which tell the story. Interesting, a little psychotic, but perfectly suited to this release. Both are encoded in MPEG-2 in Standard Definition with 192kbps Stereo Sound.
28 Weeks Later Theatrical Trailer (2:14/HD): The theatrical trailer for 28 Weeks Later which is presented in HD with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio at 448kbps.
Theatrical Trailers (HD): Trailers for 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Pathfinder and Die Hard 4.0 all presented ion HD with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Review By: Dave Warner