- Contested Sequel: While the film was generally well-received, there's a significant portion of fans who feel it paled in comparison to its predecessor.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Doyle, as played by Jeremy Renner, assures the survivors that he won't miss. Nowadays, you're probably thinking that it's practically nigh-impossible for him to miss.
- Idiot Plot: The whole situation goes completely down the toilet due to the main characters making the dumbest and most counterproductive decisions. The US military doesn't fare better as they make equally dumb decisions, ineffectually containing the infection as a result.
- Inferred Holocaust: It's heavily implied the infection has reached the European mainland by the end. And assuming Andy's the one who spread it there (and he probably is), he, Tammy and Flynn are likely dead.
- Informed Wrongness: The film constantly throws heavy shade at Don for being a cowardly bastard that left his wife to die at the first opportunity and didn't care about anyone but himself. But given that the Infected are incredibly contagious and extremely dangerous in close combat, Don had a practically zero percent chance of saving his wife. Killing the crowds of infected attacking the cottage was impossible because he didn't have any effective weapon and the only sane choice was to flee or join everyone in dying a horrible death. In fact, we see Don bravely fighting a group of infected with a crowbar only moments previously, holding off the Infected as everyone runs for their lives. This all makes the film's characterisation of him feel a bit off.
- The Scrappy: Andy and Tammy by virtue of being Unwitting Instigators of Doom, and not by bad luck or being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but by their own stupid choices. Not only were they largely responsible for the new outbreak of Rage Virus in Britain, but to make matters worse, their selfishness and downright stupid actions causes the rest of the world to get infected, too. And yet through all of this, they still are the only ones who make it out alive. Ask any group of people who have seen the movie, and you'll find at least one person who was angry that the kids didn't die for their bad behavior. Looking at the last shot in the movie, for all we know, they did.
- Signature Scene: Don having to abandon Alice and running for dear life in the beginning. Despite the flaws of the film, the chase perfectly captures the fight or flight complexities of a zombie apocalypse and has become a memorable scene.
- Strawman Has a Point:
- The American military, consistently portrayed as unnecessarily authoritarian and violent, end up killing civilians by the truckload to contain the virus. Brutal? Of course. But if it had been completed, the continent (and possibly the rest of the world save for outlying islands and the American continents) would have been spared the rage infection. Instead, it's the compassionate turncoat who dooms humanity by giving the kids, WHO BROKE THE QUARANTINE FOR FUN and became unaffected carriers of the virus, a lift across the English Channel to safety. It's next to impossible not to root for the gun-wielding maniacs while this is going on.
- Incinerating the infected area (and, Kill 'Em All) is, in fact, the only sane method for dealing with a highly infectious quickly lethal disease spreading through a population. Once a virus (or other biological weapon-like disease) breaks out of quarantine into any substantial population, there's simply no other way to contain it. Physical geographic barriers (such as Britain being an island) can limit the possible spread, but, inside those limits, it's simply impossible to stop via normal selective targeting. All militaries use the methods described in the movie when dealing with that sort of situation, and it's not only the only effective strategy, it's also the only moral one - sacrifice some to protect many. Of course, given the Idiot Ball the US military had been holding up until then, it shouldn't have gotten to that point, but, once it did, ordering the soldiers to kill everyone (including uninfected) was the only good option left.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- The first half of the movie follows Don, who barely survives the initial outbreak by abandoning his wife, Alice, during an attack by the infected. After the US Army tries to repopulate London, Don reunites with his kids and lies to them about what happened with their mother. Alice is found alive and also the first person to show some immunity to the Rage virus. Instead of mining this interesting family drama or Alice's immunity, Alice infects Don through a kiss, Don kills Alice, and the story switches to a more generic group of characters in Don's children and several soldiers.
- Alice herself could have been an interesting character due to being the first human to be immune to the Rage Virus, and the film seemed to go in the direction of having her later on be used as a cure to either kill off the Rage Virus completely or have at least an antidote for it. That is thrown out the window and instead has Alice killed off by Don.
- This Is Your Premise on Drugs: According to Jeremy Renner, a.k.a. Sgt Doyle, "It's everything I think the first one is, but on crack."
- Unintentionally Sympathetic: Don. We're supposed to view him as a self-centered Dirty Coward for abandoning his wife, but as mentioned several times on this page, his options were very limited.
- What an Idiot!:
- Sure, Don, kiss your infected wife, never mind she's an unaffected carrier of a virus that turns you into a raging murderous monster more or less instantaneously. Also, kudos to the military for leaving her room unguarded.
- Sure, kids, break out of the safe area and sneak out into a deserted, ransacked Britain just 'cause. It's not like a quarantine is important or anything, and it's not like they told you exactly why they needed a quarantine.
- Sure, US Army, go through the trouble of building an elaborate containment area for potentially infected survivors, and put in a confirmed carrier of the virus and proceed not to post any guards around her, as well as granting regular civilians unrestricted access to said containment areas! What could possibly go wrong?
- Honestly, attempting to resettle the British Isles in the first place. If there's such a huge concern about what's outside the safe zone that a quarantine needs to be enforced, then a civilian population should not be there.
- You're faced with containing and controlling a bloodborne infection that spreads almost exclusively through bites and scratches. What's the safest thing to do? Well, if you're the US Military in this movie, herding thousands of people like sardines into a tiny cramped basement below ground level with no lighting and multiple entrances and exits is the best course of action. If they had simply moved the civvies to a fortified bunker or one of the many high-rises we see and stuck a few soldiers on the roof and the ground level, the entire disaster would have been averted.
- At first, the Americans order their snipers only to target the infected civilians once the outbreak has begun to spread into the crowd and escape quarantine. You'd think the US Army, before even arriving in the UK, would have at least entertained the possibility that the worst case scenario could unfold, and realized that they would need to react swiftly and ardently (see: wipe everything and everyone out indiscriminately) to contain a pathogen of such virulence, one that could possibly destroy humanity if it were to make its way to the mainland. Instead, they give half-baked orders like this out to their guys like there was absolutely no foresight put into this at all, and as if they didn't actually have any containment perimeters set up for their men to follow. By the time they switch to the Kill 'Em All methods they utilize throughout the rest of the movie, it's already way too late.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The movie was in production during the war in Iraq. George W. Bush famously declared mission accomplished even though there was insurgency and all kinds of other unrest in the region making it anything but stable. Since the entire plot is driven by attempting to repopulate the island way too soon and horribly inadequate security measures its hard not to draw some parallel. The fact that its the American military makes it even more of a Take That!.
- The Woobie
- Alice cannot catch a break in this movie. Her husband abandons her when an Infected separates them, and he just books it instead of trying to save her. She is immune, however, and flees back to her house in London where she stays in hiding for months. She is eventually found by the military, who bring her back to District 1 and plan on killing her to run tests on her corpse to find a cure. Beforehand, however, Don visits her to beg for her forgiveness for fleeing, then kisses her... which causes him to become Infected and kill her in the most drawn out and painful death in the movie, all while she is strapped to a table. Then her body is lit on fire from the firebombing. Good lord.
- Don blames himself for abandoning his wife to the Infected and then having to lie to his children about that. Add to the fact that he reunited with Alice, only to get infected, kill her, and chase down his children. Ouch.
YMMV / 28 Weeks Later