Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Christopher Meloni, Piper Perabo, Lou Taylor Pucci, Emily VanCamp, Chris Pine
Directed by Alex and David Pastor
Distributed by Paramount Vantage
Germs, man. They seem to be getting stronger and more deadly by the day. Bird flu. Swine flu. Does a zombie outbreak really seem that far off any longer? And what's causing all these various super-strains? Me? I blame hand sanitizers. I grew up just fine without any anti-bacterial this, that, or the other thing, and my immune system works just fine. We need to be exposed to germs to build up a resistance to them. The use of all these bacteria fighters is only going to breed stronger influenzas. After all, even germs have to evolve to survive. It's evolution, baby.
In Paramount Vantage's thriller Carriers the cause of said infection is never discussed. We're dropped right in the middle of one screwed up outbreak with a band of four survivors (two guys and two girls) just trying to make it from point A to point B without coming down with the sickness. They have rules they follow and codes to live by, and if these self-imposed limitations are not followed to the letter, the results could be deadly. Sort of like Zombieland without the zombies and played deadly straight.
Plot-wise that's about all there is, and truthfully it can be painfully lean, but the Pastor brothers have a few tricks up their sleeves to up the ante as we go along. Carriers is a slow burn kind of film. If you're looking for wall-to-wall action, go elsewhere. While there are a few jarring moments in Carriers, they are few and sort of far between. This flick is all about the relationships between our heroes and the situations they must face to stay healthy and breathing.
Thankfully the entire cast is up for the challenge of keeping things interesting, and solid performances are turned in from just about everyone, especially Chris Pine, who plays that sort of lovable douchebag we all know and put up with -- if only because they keep things real. You'll care for these characters and at many times feel as if you're riding along with them from stop to stop never knowing what lies just ahead.
Carriers is not without its problems though. It suffers from a lot of the same pitfalls that films of this caliber typically do (i.e., plot holes, general stupidity, and a dash of predictability). You know that out of the four characters maybe two will make it to the end, and of course it comes down to a boy and a girl. Parts of the movie feel like a race just to see who dies first. This lowers the stakes drastically.
In terms of DVD features all we get are trailers. No commentary. No extras of any kind. Nada. Come on, Paramount, was there really just nothing?
If you're looking for something other than the usual no-brainer entertainment, Carriers has the right prescription. While not exactly a thrill ride, it's still one worth taking.
3 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5
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