Directed by David and Àlex Pastor
Warning: Spoilers may infect all readers and,
also, it’s an extremely short review... sorry about that.
Sometimes you just want to watch a movie, any movie, which reflects the current times in which you are living. So, for me, any kind of post-apocalyptic viral infection movie is game right now, to remind me that we are all in the same boat and, you know, as something I can get hints and tips from on how to survive because, if my own government keeps reacting to this stupid Coronavirus disaster in a way which makes it more protracted and less reversible, we might all be in the same situation the characters in films like this find themselves in at some point very, very soon.
So Carriers stars Chris Pine as Brian, Piper Perabo as his girlfriend Bobby, Lou Taylor Pucci as his brother Danny and Emily VanCamp as Danny’s friend Kate (that's Sharon Carter to all you MCU fans). They live in a world were a lot of the population has already died out from an unnamed virus and we join them, already on the road, in a stolen car as they are on a cross country road trip for a few days, to get them to a beach that Brian and Danny used to love as kids. Now, to me, this sounds like a bad idea to begin with. I mean, what do you do for petrol if you need it? Well, the answer seems to be you get lucky (or unlucky, depending on your viewpoint of how various things go down here) and steal it by force from other travellers who you, somehow, might meet on the way. Which seems pretty silly, especially when you realise just how bad things have gotten.
It’s gotten so terrible by the point that we join the four travellers that they’ve made up a set of rules to get them by, which are roughly summed up as follows:
1. Avoid the infected at all costs, their breath is highly contagious.
2. Disinfect anything that they’ve touched within 24 hours.
3. The sick are already dead, they can’t be saved.
So, yeah, a road trip to a favourite beach seems fraught with peril, if you ask me.
And the film does what it does, hitting all the expected points along the way. Chris Pine plays his character as an absolutely angry, low intelligence idiot. Literally the last person you would ever want to be stuck with if you were trying to survive the leftovers of a pandemic. The other three seem mostly level headed but this doesn’t stop them from occasionally, often inadvertently, breaking their own rules and getting heaps of trouble piled on them. And on their road trip, they reluctantly find themselves in a position to try and help a father (played by Christopher Meloni) and his dying, infected little girl get to a hospital which is ‘supposed’ to have some miracle cure (yeah, you can guess how that one pans out), come across a bunch of aggressive survivalists, hide from groups of people who hunt others and so on and so forth. They also kill innocent people to further their cause for the next full tank of gasoline and, inevitably, leave their own companions behind at the first sign that any of them are infected, putting them in a position at some point where one brother has to kill another so the pointless road trip can be continued.
The actors are all good and, while not remarkable, the film is competently put together and I had no complaints. There are also some nice little nods to science fiction movies from the past such as Mad Max 2 - The Road Warrior and A L I E N, among others I’m sure I didn’t pick up so, yeah, it’s an okay watch. The only real problem the film has is that, by the time two of the travellers finally make it to the beach, the objective of the trip has lost all meaning and there’s a point in the last ten minutes of the film where you really wonder why the characters are trying to fulfil that story arc at this point. So, by the end of the film, it all seems pretty pointless and downbeat. And, I get that this is kind of the point anyway but, you know, I already got that vibe from the start of the movie. It feels like there was never any progression to the story for the characters to be let down by at the end. I think there needed to be more of a point to their quest because, really, the disappointment voiced by one of the characters at the finish could easily be met by the audience with a collective shrug and the response... well yeah, what did you expect?
And with that... I don’t really have that much more to say about Carriers. As post apocalyptic movies go, it just feels kinda empty and undeveloped in many ways. It’s not something that’s going to haunt me at any point or even linger in my memory for much longer than me writing this review, I suspect. But, it is entertaining enough to the point that it held my interest for the short running time so, yeah, it’s certainly not a total loss. I wouldn’t recommend anyone go out of their way to watch it but I’m not giving up on finding another post-virus apocalypse movie that I can recommend. The hunt continues.