Seeing that this is the Summer of Sequels, it was refreshing to go to a movie that just has the number 2 in the title, and not following it. Although 28 Days Later isn't a sequel or remake, it does borrow material from other movies. But the movie is a fairly thrilling ride with enough suspense to cover its flaws.
28 Days Later starts out in London where a group of activists break into a lab to free some monkeys from the horrors of scientific experimentation. But they ignore the scientist's warning that the monkeys are infected and free them anyway. Then we cut to 28 days later, where Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a deserted hospital only to find out the the whole city is deserted. He hooks up with a few survivors and finds out that a virus wiped out the city and possibly the world, and fights off the infected zombie-like people and tries to figure out how to start humankind once more.
The acting here is pretty good from a cast of unknowns which the most recognizable actor is Brendan Gleeson who was last seen in this year's wonderful "Dark Blue." Cillian Murphy's performance as Jim is pretty solid as is Naomie Harris' performance is solid as well as the militant Selena. Their performances contrast each other quite nicely.
The best part of the movie is when Jim wakes up and is walking around the desserted city. It has a really cool vibe to it, that's enhanced more by the decision to not use any music in these scenes.
The script, written by Alex Garland who wrote the novel "The Beach" which director Danny Boyle directed, has a good storyline and dialogue. The premise seems like a mix between "12 Monkeys" and countless zombie/horror flicks. But instead of spending time on how or why it happened, like "12 Monkeys" does, it spends time on moving on and dealing with the loss of humanity. Although I thought "12 Monkeys" worked rather well, this movie's take on the subject worked well also. I didn't really like the sub-plot at the end involving the military and the women,
Director Danny Boyle directs this film with a less-is-more type of attitude. There is hardly any music and it focuses a lot more on visuals then depending on dialouge or other aspects. He handles his actors well and has a nice feel for suspense and drama. It's not really that scary, like other critics have said, but it has a subtle creepy tone that is very nicely done.
28 Days Later is a movie about starting over in extreme circumstances. It's dark and disturbing and a breath of fresh air in a summer polluted with the smog of sequels.