28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007)

One of the paradoxical strengths of this film’s superior predecessor was painting its villains as cartoonishly evil: depth of characterization is lost, to be sure, but what is gained is a progressive reading, whereby the armed forces can be seen as the real monsters, engaging in all-too-frightening human acts of slavery (both sexual and racial) and eugenics. There’s no such reading for this film, since the U.S. Army is painted as a force for utopian change, initially bringing a food court, medical care, and swank apartment living to the repatriated inhabitants of a devastated London. Even when the shooting, firebombing, and gassing goes down, it’s done to save humanity from the reappearance of the bad old virus that prevents people from enjoying the comforts of capitalism.

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