I remember watching the beginning of this movie and thinking that I was in for a snoozer. It was listed as a horror film, but certainly did not have the feel of one in the opening scenes. When the animal rights activists broke into the lab and freed the animals, it still looked like something other than horror.
If you have already seen this film, you likely know that it would be very difficult to dislike it. I am a huge fan of zombie movies and this film takes that concept into overdrive. The overall product is so good, that I have heard praise from a number of people that generally don't even like horror.
Onto the movie...
Some lab monkeys have been infected by a "rage virus" by a group of scientists. Probably not the end of the world, unless a group of animal activists free the monkeys, allowing them to attack and spread the virus to humans. That is, of course, exactly what happens. This is a novel twist on the zombie film and it turns into a zombie type slaughterfest rather quickly.
With the virus spreading very quickly and the city being overtaken by the virus, Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a hospital unaware of what has happened. He ventures out into the city to see that it is destroyed and the streets are devoid of people. He meets up with a woman that has not been infected and they attempt to survive the ensuing slaughter. As the film goes on, a father and daughter are additions to the duo.
There are some great scenes of Jim and the team fending off the infected. One of the great things about this film, one item that differs greatly from the typical zombie genre film, is that the infected are athletic and very fast moving. This fast paced action helped the movie to be very engaging to the viewer. There is not a whole lot of waiting around and developing plans as the infected are extremely aggressive and don't give the good guys much chance to rest.
Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) did a fantastic job with the film. The direction is well above average. The dialogue, acting, sets and gore are all excellent as well.
Eventually, Jim and his partner Selena run into the armed forces and are taken in by them. It seems at this point that the good guys have finally caught a break. Not exactly. The troops are not exactly decent. They do have the best watchdog ever in the "infected on a leash".
In the end, the pair escapes the armed forces and retire to a nice are in the country. It seems that they will live happily ever after. But the saga is not over just yet.
Overall score- 8 out of 10