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Four kids are driving through the desert on the way to the beach, their faces anything but cheery: this isn't Spring Break. They're trying to outrun the end of the world and each other. In Alex and David Pastor's Carriers, no one is safe from the viral pandemic threatening to wipe out the human race. Determined to elude the deadly virus, Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), his brother Brian (Chris Pine), his girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo) and Danny's school friend Kate (Emily VanCampo) speed across the Southwestern U.S. to reach a place of possible safety. Over the course of four days, the group is faced with moral decisions that no human should ever be forced to face. They discover that their greatest enemy is not the microbe attacking humanity, but the darkness within themselves.
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The problem with the movie is seems to use a lot of the same pieces many other apocalyptic movies have – the mix is simply kind of boring. You have the good kid who wants to help, the self-absorbed girls, one not a bad or good girl, the other a kind of semi-bad girl who of course is dating/romantically involved with the Alpha male who wants to survive at all costs. Enter the family who needs help, a man and little girl and of course the little girl is sick. Then we meet the scientists who are all dying as well. And – dunh dunh dunh – one of the members gets sick and then another and there’s a power-play about what should be done.
In the end, it’s a good enough watch for a lazy Sunday afternoon, but if you’re looking to actually pay for the movie front a rental standpoint, I would say wait until you can find it on a subscription channel – or better yet, wait until it comes on cable. If you don’t have cable, simply read the synopsis online and you’ll have about as much understanding as you really need.
If given the option for half stars, I would give it a 2.5. But, because there isn't that option, I will be VERY generous and go ahead and give it three stars.
Although I can enjoy any of those other takes on the post apocalyptic scene, I tend to like best the ones that don't glamorize it or overload it with action, but which portray it pretty much as it would really be. That's what this film does. Brian (Chris Pine) and Danny(Lou Taylor-Pucci) are brothers; Brian is a jerk and knows it ; Danny, younger, was a student at Yale. They are uninfected and decide to go to Turtle Beach, where they spent many happy childhoods. It seems to be several states away (and the beach was shot on Texas' Gulf Coast). Brian brings his girlfriend Bobby (piper Perabo) and Danny his friend Kate (Emily Van Camp), both of whom are also uninfected. There are strict rules to follow if they are to remain safe.
The film builds on the normal tension and fears that would occur on such a journey. Things do happen and they have consequences. The threats are real but they are normal sized and don't depend on outsized frights. After all a single angry dog or a pair of muggers would be a serious threat in real life. You don't always need supernatural creatures or hordes of cannibals. These people are really trying to survive in a world where an invisible virus is fatal. Some people find this all too slow paced, but it allows for tension to build up among the very credible actors. Some people don't like the characters, especially obnoxious Brian and find the others a bit air-headed or not survivalist enough to survive. But these are the kind of people who might accidentally survive; there's no requirement of heroism or bravery.
I find the movie unsettling and unrelenting in its way. If you can take this movie on its own terms, it's really good.
It's hard to describe the movie in detail without giving too much away. Just like Zombieland (actually released after the film was created, but Paramount chose not to give Carriers a release until after), there are rules to survival in this world. Avoid the infected at all costs (even their breath can be incredibly contagious). Disinfect, disinfect, disinfect. The sick are already dead. You may survive if you stick to these rules, but as the characters discover throughout their journey, sticking to them is a completely different story.
Their goal is Turtle Beach - where the two brothers Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Brian (Chris Pine) went as children, and they are joined by their friends/girlfriends Bobby (Piper Perabo) and Kate (Emily VanCamp). Turtle Beach may be one of the last places the virus hasn't reached, and somewhere they four hope to find a resthaven. Along the way they encounter situations that put their "rules" to the test (Stranded old ladies, just wanting to bum a ride to safety, a father and his little girl who is already sick, hoping to be taken to the only place where a "cure" might be available ... and what happens when one of their own is infected.) It's a thought provoking movie, and one of the more realistic scenarios of any in this particular genre.
I urge anyone who is a fan of these type of movies to give it a shot. It's a very underrated film and one I believe would have been more popular had it been given a national release. For now, it simply rides on the coattails of the zombie genre and Chris Pine's sudden rise to fame.
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