AN INFECTIOUS TALE OF HATRED
November 06, 2002
THE more movies you watch, the less likely consecutive films are going to impress you, but 28 Days Later — the latest creation from director Danny ‘Trainspotting’ Boyle — will blow you away.
Submerging you from the start in a nightmare vision of a warring world polluted with violence and hatred (not too far off from reality), it tells the tale of a Britain infected with the virus ‘Rage’.
Spread by animal rights activists releasing infected chimps, the illness soon spreads, turning its victims into murderous zombies, and leaving a barren land almost devoid of normal humans.
If they’re not zombies, most inhabitants have starved to death, been murdered, or have escaped infection — such as the impossibly gorgeous Cillian Murphy, who plays Jim.
Luckily he finds normal humans and together they make a Wizard of Oz-esque trek to Manchester, where the “answer to infection” purportedly lies.
Boyle imbibes the film with a certain aura, both menacing and other-worldly, and its eerie soundtrack, brilliant casting (only Eccleston could play the role of desperate army officer so convincingly), and creative cinematography, makes 28 Days Later — for all its horror — a breath of cinematic fresh air.
Yes, it’s violent, but not too much blood and guts — and it’s all relevant to the plot, and yes, the storyline is a bit ropey in places, but the scriptwriter is Alex Garland, and nobody’s perfect.
But for me, the main point is how the virus ‘Rage’ is an allegory for the psychological illness in people, in countries, that makes someone physically or emotionally bludgeon to death another for the sake of religion or greed or “because we’ve always hated them”.
And the film features plenty of soldiers in uniform, so what more could you ask for?