Thursday, December 3, 2009



As soon as this movie starts rolling, it is easy to settle into its stock post-apocalyptic plot. A virus has wrecked civilization as we know it. Four people are driving in a stolen Mercedes with the words “Road Warrior” sprayed on its hood to a sketchy destination. The only really interesting thing going on in this opening scene is that Brian (Christopher Pine/Captain Jerk from the STAR TREK reboot) is being a jerk. The only reason people will want to see CARRIERS in the first place is because Christopher Pine is in it, and he still carries the STAR TREK afterglow. However, Chris Meloni (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and LAW AND ORDER, SVU) is also in it, and he outacts Pine. But overall, viewers should abandon any hope of finding a hidden gem in this film immediately.

They are not quite as witty as those in ZOMBIELAND, but there are rules that this group of travelling youth follow. “You break the rules, you die; you follow them you live, maybe,” says the voiceover. The concept of a plague that is effortlessly passed from person to person is straight out of 28 DAYS LATER. In CARRIERS, all you have to do is breathe the air of the infected and you will catch it. The solution for Brian, his girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo), Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), and Kate (Emily VanCamp) is to wear doodled-on surgical masks. Would this protect people from an airborne virus in real life? Not the way these clowns wear them. Many scenes are replete with the misfit masks hanging strangely off of the actor’s faces.

Danny and Brian are brothers. There is a lot of insincere backstory helping us to understand this, but it really could be grainy stock footage of any two little boys frolicking on any beach. Truthfully, Brian and Danny behave like two guys thrown together on a b-movie set. The chemistry that they should have as brothers simply isn’t there.

When this cluster of nondescript survivors rolls up on Frank (Chris Meloni) and his infected daughter Jodie (Kiernan Shipka), the clichéd plot gets about as interesting as it will for the entire film. There is a rumor of a cure just like there was a rumor of a cure to the world genocide plague in Albert Pyun’s CYBORG. Frank pushes for the whole group to go to “Farmington” where the cure is. Of course, there is no cure, and soon we get to see what kind of jerk Brian really is. By the time Brian’s girlfriend is infected with the disease, we are completely primed for his self-centered, heartless, implausible behavior. The brothers are soon pitted against one another, and the only way to go for this film is downhill.

Apparently, all the cool stuff has happened before the movie starts. Brian had a job burying the dead at a stadium for four hundred dollars a day. A flashback on this subject would have been nice. For a movie about disease and the end of mankind, this film plays it close. CARRIERS keeps its corpses and the general results of world devastation to a minimum. There is a strange paroxysm of unexplained violence midway through the film followed by a body strapped to a windmill with a sign around his neck that says “Chinks brought it.” But other than that and a few other nebulous happenings, the holocaust happens primarily between the four travelers. Such a thing could make for a powerful film if you were actually given any reason to care about this bland cast.

Another ripoff of 28 DAYS LATER is a undefined, blue-collar group that overpowers the group and demands to keep the women. In 28 DAYS LATER, at least Major Henry West (Christopher Eccleson) has a plan in regards to world population with his demand for a female. This armed, scuba masked group of millworkers in CARRIERS are just a disorganized bunch of jackass extras.

This movie is an unoriginal mess. If you have seen the trailer for it or looked at any of the production stills that are on the official CARRIERS website, you already have seen all of the money. The still of a German shepherd chewing on a corpse’s intestines was released by the production company, so the biggest shock of the film (which is a direct rip from the original HITCHER) is completely diffused. There are no surprises, and when Brian finally unhinges, it is obvious that he has to be killed. You have to wait around until the rest of the idiots on the doomed mission figure it out.

Perhaps we are supposed to consider how far off the beaten path humankind has come as a result of this plague. But if this is what director/writer team Alex and David Pastor wanted, they botched it. If you want to see an unshaven Captain Jerk wreck a golf cart on a deserted course in a supposed disease-ridden future, this is for you. However, any of the other films that I have mentioned in this article would be more worthy of your time.

-Mediasaurus Rex