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Movie Review: 28 Days Later

Story: The end of the world has always been a popular theme for depiction on film. The demise of Earth, is usually caused by an alien invasion and the fear factor is minimal for the seasoned audience. Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) brings an all too realistic feel to this doomsday film when animal activists (think PETA gone bonkers) release infected primates from a lab and a highly contagious disease spreads rapidly causing infection in humans within 10 seconds of striking. Humans become zombie-like creatures until they meet their deaths. Before they die they try to infect as many others as possible. SARS and Monkeypox are mosquito bites compared to this plague. So why wasn't I more frightened as I sat and watched this well made modern theme of Armageddon? Perhaps I have seen too many of these type films - I am not sure.

Anyhow, there is a lot to like in this film. There is some wonderful haunting cinematography of empty cities and countryside. The use of the digital video camera gives the film a grainy texture that works well -- it has a documentary type look. The acting works well and the use of relative unknowns gives the film a more realistic spin. I actually cared about the characters.

Moral of the story for me -- quit medical testing on animals and we would all be better off (especially the animals).

Acting: Cillian Murphy as the guy who wakes from a coma and finds himself in a real nightmare is someone to watch in the future. He has those beautiful Paul Newman blue eyes and an interesting face -- and he can act. Naomi Harris as his savior and sidekick is as talented as she is beautiful.

Predilection: I like dark movies -- and boy, did this one fill the bill.

Critters: Chimpanzees, horses, goldfish, crows and sheep.

Food: Lots of junk food out of vending machines and a super market shopping spree.

Visual Art: The camera was so jiggly it was hard to focus on any wall art.

Blatant Product Placement: Benetton, Mars Candy and lots of Pepsi, Pepsi, and more Pepsi (and Pepsi products). It seems even when the end of the world is near - Pepsi has advertising dollars to spare.

Soundtrack: Lively for a film that depicts the end of the world.

Opening Titles: A voice-over explaining the situation and a simple line of type that reads...28 days later. I was hooked.

Theater Audience: Five guys and me. We all survived.

Squirm Scale: If the idea of the end of the world makes you nervous -- this film will have a very high squirm factor for you.

Predictability Level: Apocalyptic.

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: The all too trendy use of the jiggly camera can get really annoying at times.

Big Screen or Rental: This film needs to be seen on the big screen for the whole scary ride. For other rentals showing the end of the world try On the Beach and Mad Max Thunderdome.

Length: Under two hours.