Carriers (2009) Directed by Àlex and David Pastor. With Chris Pine, Piper Perabo, Lou Taylor Pucci and Emily VanCamp.
Writer-director duo Àlex and David Pastor’s Carriers plays like a middling episode of The Walking Dead, sans zombies. The world has gone to hell, thanks to a viral pandemic that has killed nearly everyone except a hot-headed Chris Pine, his brother and their girlfriends. We meet them (in oddly upbeat spirits) on the road, driving to wherever, whereby they encounter a stranger and his infected daughter. Here, they face the first of a series of dilemmas that stitch together the ‘plot’. Unlike the seemingly endless barrage of tedium that is The Walking Dead, at least with this, it’s 84mins and out.
Just like the TV show (TWD was released a year after this), the film is full of those kind of acting performances – either really mad or really sad. You know the kind that I mean, actors being all actory, often overacting just to ensure we understand the gravity of the situation. Thanks to his lead role in Star Trek (which was presumably shot before this) Chris Pine’s name wields star power. I can’t even say there’s anything remarkably terrible going on here, it’s just all terribly unremarkable; desolate roads, deserted suburban areas, the occasional bloody corpse…
The direction is solid enough, although there’s more recycling in the writing than found in your average bottle bank. The plot is simply a series of visits to various sites, which culminates without any surprises. There’s also plenty of characters saying and doing things they’d only ever do or say in a movie…and they aren’t nearly careful enough around the infected. It gives the impression that the plot needs them to get infected. This creates an audience detachment that cuts our ties with being able to care.
Carriers is that film you watch and almost completely forget within an hour. Nothing in it veers off the beaten track of a thousand other films and television shows. That might be enough for some, but don’t be surprised to find yourself having arrived at the finale before the film itself gets there. 2/5