Don't worry, we will never spoil anything pre-jump, though obviously everything after the break is operating under the assumption you've seen the film to the right, so be warned. And a big tip of our hat to Arbogast on Film for inspiring us with his post The One You Might Have Saved.
Head after the jump to see who I would have saved from the action-horror sequel, 28 Weeks Later (2007).
Cause of Death: Shot by his own daughter after contracting the "Rage" virus.
Verdict: I Would Have Saved Him
Reason: Robert Caryle is a terrific actor. He's proven that time and time again with great performances in films like Trainspotting, The Full Monty and most recently on TV's Stargate Universe, in which he plays misanthropic genius Dr. Nicholas Rush. Carlyle probably deserves an Emmy nomination for his work on the Syfy series, but, as I've said before, they don't give Emmy nods to people on Stargate shows.
It was his role on SGU that inspired me to revisit 28 Weeks Later, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's fine follow-up to Danny Boyle's classic, 28 Days Later.
28 Weeks features an ensemble of excellent actors, much like SGU. You have Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots, Harold Perrineau, Idris Elba and Rose Burn all turning in good performances in a truly intense and compelling thriller. But it's the movie's opening that sticks with me. You know the one, with Carlyle's morally dubious Don abandoning his own wife to the Rage Monsters (that's what I call 'em) in order to save his own skin. It's intense and terrifying, and it makes you think about what you might have done in his place.
Several scenes later, Don is reunited with his wife, who has survived despite being infected with the virus thanks to a genetic immunity. It's another terrifying scene that sees Don paying the price for his previous actions. It's around this time that the film starts to shift focus and become less about Don and his family's struggle and more like a traditional zombie flick. Don is infected, turned into a Rage Monster and starts attacking people to get at their tasty flesh. He displays a higher level of awareness and intellect than the other infected, an aspect of the movie that some people have a big problem with. He hides, plots and hunts after his own children like a slurred serial killer. It's damn creepy ... until it gets a little silly.
I was pretty disappointed when Don got infected. I guess I saw it coming, but I was hoping the movie would give him a chance to redeem himself before he was wiped clean of his humanity. Carlyle does a mean zombie, but I wanted to see him play a character that could grow and ... er ... speak throughout the rest of the movie. Instead, he's turned into a growling and mumbling beastie thirty minutes into the thing and put down like a dog in the final act. If I had written the script, I would have saved Don from contracting the virus so early on and maybe even let him live. It's probably just the fan in me typing, but a great character actor like Carlyle deserves a little better, dontcha think?