28 Days makes a great two hours

July 1, 2003, midnight | By Anthony Glynn | 20 years, 9 months ago

Eyes open and he is alone. His last memory is being hit by a car, but that is of no importance now that the streets, the homes, and the cars everywhere show that the whole world around him has changed. The parents: dead. The people: infuriated. The likelihood for survival: slim. 28 Days Later follows him through his phenomenal tale of staying alive.

A band of animal rights activists break into a lab and release monkeys supposedly infected with "rage" on modern England. Once released, the monkeys set off a chain reaction leading to an epidemic that makes people infinitely enraged and murderous spreading throughout the world. A delivery boy, Jim, played by Cillian Murphy, awakens from a coma to this altered world. He is found by another survivor, Selena, played by Naomie Harris, who stays with him for the remainder of the film. Jim and Selena are on a constant struggle to find safety from these zombies.

This is definitely a unique and original film. Director Danny Boyle, who made The Beach, comes back with another visionary film on human nature, an unlikely pick for most directors now-a-days. The actors, although not incredibly famous, are gifted in conveying the emotions of the scene and character. For example, when Jim had just awakened and was wandering the empty streets, he screamed at the top of his lungs with such intensity and utter disbelief that the actor got applause from the audience. The script complements the acting, bringing about scenarios and eliciting reactions that are intriguing as well as believable.

This movie is all about the script, written by Alex Garland. Predicting the life of an infected person, Selena says, "He will never read again. He will never love again. He will eat his own flesh when food is not found. He is infected." Intense. When Jim tells Selena he is going out to look for his family, she responds, "You won't return. No one ever returns." Very intense.

The cinematography makes this movie stimulating to the eyes as well as the mind. At the beginning the camera is far away from the character, showing how desolate and empty the world is. But as the movie progresses, the shot becomes smaller, emphasizing the realizations the characters are going through. In one scene Jim is walking through the empty streets, and he comes across a billboard with huge, smiling faces on it; for him, that emotion is unthinkable. This is one example of the contrasts that are subtly shown throughout the film. Before they were let out, the monkeys, as well as the audience, had to watch scene after scene of human violence and aggression, creating the mood for the rest of the movie.

For those who want to be on the edge of their seat, 28 Days Later will not let you down. The moments of excitement are absolutely unpredictable and intense. There is no background orchestra to spoil the suspense of the film by giving warning to upcoming danger. This movie does not hold anything back and shows every gruesome detail, such someone getting their eyes shoved in. 28 Days Later has everything that is needed in a good movie: realistic plotline, believable story, good actors, expressive images, and a purpose. With these there is also suspense and a new perspective on human behavior.

28 Days Later, by Fox Searchlight Pictures, is 112 minutes long, rated R, and is now playing everywhere.

Tags: print

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