(director/writer: Alex & David Pastor; screenwriter: ; cinematographer: Benoît Debie; editor: Craig McKay; music: Peter Nashel; cast: Chris Pine (Brian), Piper Perabo (Bobby), Emily VanCamp (Kate), Lou Taylor Pucci (Danny), Mary Peterson (Laura Merkin-voice), Christopher Meloni (Frank), Kiernan Shipka (Jodie), Mark Moses (Doctor), Ron McClary (preacher-voice); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Anthony Bregman/Ray Angelic; Paramount Vantage; 2009)
“Humorless B-film on a post-apocalyptic global air-borne viral pandemic that is wiping out the earth’s population.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Filmmakers Alex & David Pastor (“The Last Days”/”The Occupant “), Spanish brothers, film this humorless B-film on a post-apocalyptic global air-borne viral pandemic that is wiping out the earth’s population. The survivalist road movie bleakly tunes into mankind’s darker survival instincts of only caring about one’s own safety. Though competently made and acted, it’s lifeless and depressing. Also, its dark survival message is not a good one. The film, made in 2007, never got a theater or DVD release until the post-Star Trek fame of its co-star Chris Pine. It was on TV recently, perhaps, because it reminds us of the world’s current Covid-19 pandemic.
A foursome of twenty-somethings and teens ride in their stolen Mercedes across the Texas highways looking for a safe spot to wait out the pandemic until a vaccine is created, as there are only a few survivors left on Earth. The pair of brothers, with different personalities, are the older, obnoxious, macho one, Brian (Chris Pine), and the sensitive, scholarly and Yale-bound high school student Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci ). Brian’s longtime girlfriend is the feisty Bobby (Piper Perabo), Danny’s new girlfriend is the quiet blonde high school student Kate (Emily VanCamp).
Brian has introduced strict rules to follow about exposing themselves to the infected and showing no mercy for them because they are dying anyway. The foursome don medical masks at any hint of danger. But the question becomes how will they act if one of them is infected.
While concentrating on the dynamics among the foursome, we observe their different reactions when they encounter a desperate father (Christopher Meloni) trying to get his young infected daughter (Kiernan Shipka) to a hospital that may have a serum. But they have run out of gas, and a hostile exchange takes place when they meet on a back road and the youngsters refuse to give them gas (even if knowing they will soon die if left stranded).
One of the foursome gets infected after treating the infected girl and is coldly left behind by the group to die (they are just following the rules all agreed to).
The quartet must also fight off vigilante rapists dressed in hazmat suits and later they kill a pair of Christian ladies who won’t give them gas. The final destination is a Mexican beach resort, where the siblings enjoyed their vacations as children, but is now deserted and a graveyard for the workers and owners.
Carriers borrows from many recent sci-fi horror films, but most closely resembles the more lively Zombieland. It might be thought-provoking, but it’s just not a good enough film to fully praise.
REVIEWED ON 7/14/2020 GRADE: C+