The story thus far: Seven months have gone by since the Rage virus passed from chimp fang to British bloodstream in an animal-rights intervention gone awry, unleashing a horde of the frenetic undead in the direction of Cillian Murphy's cheekbones. England since quarantined, the zombie menace has starved to death, and an America-led NATO force now proceeds with the reconstruction. A man named Don (Robert Carlyle) oversees the infrastructure of a heavily fortified "green zone" established for preliminary resettlement. You can guess how that turns out. Yes, Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo bluntly raids the zeitgeist in his sequel to Danny Boyle's new-school zombie smash, 28 Days Later. That's forgivable because (a) 28 Weeks Later kicks ass; (b) etiquette forbids Nancy Pelosi from discussing the occupation in terms of gore-drenched cannibalistic anarchy; and (c) topical dissent is as intrinsic to the zombie genre as topical skin problems. Eventually the zombies return, and Fresnadillo displays a fine sense of scale, shifting from a God's-eye perspective of mushrooming chaos to subjective, street-level reportage and an uncompromising commitment to unrelenting dread. Happy times! And superior horror. 28 Months Later can't come too soon.
But who will protect us from those protecting us from the undead?
Opens at Metro and other theaters, Fri., May 11. Rated R. 100 minutes.