Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Alex and David Pastor
Lou Taylor Pucci
and Chris Meloni
What's it about
Two brothers and two women go on a road trip, only not in the typical sense. A contagious virus has killed off the population, and theyíre trying to make it somewhere safeÖif they can survive the trip and themselves.
Is it good movie?
Over the last few years, post-apocalyptic films seem to have reemerged into cinemas like never before Ė especially in terms of zombies and infectious disease. The genre isnít anything new and most of the recent end-of-the-world entries have been quite forgettable and redundant. Regardless of their repetitive nature, some have been able to crave out a new path here and there. Take the Chris Pine (obviously pre-Star Trek) starrer Carriers.
Carriers does what good apocalyptic films do: attempt to present normalcy without going overboard with how the world has changed, how shocking it is, and blah blah blah. For the first five minutes or so, the movie presents its characters as just rough and rowdy wayward people, but quickly the audience finds out more. And by doing so, itís clear writer/directors Alex and David Pastor have created a character piece over simple shock and awe. Carriers never falls victim to simplistic gore or chaos. Everything that follows comes as a result of character action and motivation and emotion, which revolves around two very different brothers and two unrelated but very sexy girls. I have to admit that I resisted the characters at first. They felt simplistic. Sappy. I was afraid that, like in most movies, their emotional arc would feel cheap. However, as the movie progressed, the characters evolved beyond two-dimensional. God forbid, I kinda cared for them.
In terms of cast, Pine is the real standout. I donít know if JJ Abrams watched this movie before casting him as James T. Kirk, but itís easy to see his star potential. He rises above the rest of the cast, which is not to say the rest act subpar. Far from it. Pucci, Meloni, and the girls, Piper Perabo and Emily Vancamp, all turn in great roles. Each creates an individual character. Iím always a little surprised Meloni never got more plum roles. Usually, heís a standout in any project he appears in, and this is no different. Here, he plays a father with a little girl whoís suffering for the disease. His role only lasts the first 25 minutes or so, but I think his story would have been the more interesting, more gut-retching tale to tell. It would have really made the movie something truly special.
After all, letís not get Carriers confused with Citizen Kane. The acting is good, not incredible. The characters are believable and likable, but not necessarily deep nor overly interesting. The plot is tight, but this isnít anything groundbreaking. Iím not knocking the movie (I dug it!), but I donít want to present a false expectation of greatness either. However, if fans are looking for gore ala a zombie flick, youíre not going to find it here. The film doesnít play like cheap horror. Most of the bloodshed comes from already dead bodies. The horror, the fear, is nearly all psychological as the characters all become suspicious of those around them carrying the disease. If this movie had a higher budget, it would have been crap because it would have stuck to cheap thrills instead of a character adventure. Letís face it, without character you have something crappy, like My Bloody Valentine or even worse, Transformers.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
Notta. Completely void of extras.
Good, tense, emotional, but goes in the wrong direction at the end. The movie is about the cruelty of desperate humans. But it doesnít stick with in the end. Regardless, it's an entertaining, thrilling apocalyptic flick that's worthy of a watch, especially for Pine fans.