Thursday, January 07, 2010

CARRIERS - Post-Pandemic Terror

CARRIERS (post-apocalyptic thriller)
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo, Emily VanCamp, Christopher Meloni, Kiernan Shipka, Ron McClary, Mark Moses and Dylan Kenin
Director: Alex and David Pastor
Screenplay: Alex and David Pastor
Time: 84 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

LET'S CUT TO THE CHASE: Featuring Chris Pine of Star Trek fame, Carriers is a serviceable thriller in the vein of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later and Zombieland. On the surface, it is a popcorn thriller about how a bunch of young people are caught in a post-pandemic terror trip. Deeper, it is a grim look at what makes us human once society has been depleted and desolated.

Carriers was scheduled to be released in 2007 but was 'quarantined' by Paramount Vantage until September 2009, reportedly on the new appeal of Pine.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT? Brian (Pine) and his brother Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci) are driving through Colorado with Brian's girlfriend Bobby (Perabo) and their friend Kate (VanCamp) when they encounter a man Christopher Meloni) trying to get his sick daughter (Kiernan Shipka) to a clinic. She has the highly contagious disease that
has killed off almost everyone, so extreme measures are needed to prevent infection. As they drive across the Southwest to the Gulf Coast, they encounter other survivors and are forced to make some brutal decisions.

HITS & MISSES: Unlike 28 Days and Zombieland, this one does not have the terror - or thrills - of braindead carnivores going on rampage and raising the body count. Instead, the Brothers Pastor document the dark side of human nature and the need to survive - on a personal level. Towards this, they have a commendable cast.

The four youngsters encounter terrifying situations that strain their relationship and also force them to look inside themselves. The central foursome show good screen chemistry, playing believable, sympathetic characters even when they do mindless things. On the downside, there plotholes and some scenes are dragging. Still, I appreciate that the Pastors toe the line between intriguing realism and exaggerated drama, keeping the situation plausible and within the confines of its PG rating.

THE LOWDOWN: A bit depressing but watchable.


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