Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Road Movie to Nowhere

Carriers (2009)

A post apocalyptic road movie that goes nowhere.

Star Trek’s Chris Pine as Brian gets second billing behind Lou Taylor Pucci as younger brother Danny. Along for this joyless ride are Piper Perabo as Brian’s gf Bobby and Emily VanCamp as Danny’s non-gf Kate.

Set some time after an unspecified virus has wiped out most of humankind, leaving infected-but-dying people and assholes behind, our story picks up our less-than-fab four as they are driving through Colorado to a Texas beach the brothers recall from childhood (guess they had good crab legs).

They live by Brian’s five rules, which include staying away from infected people and washing down everything with bleach. I don't recall the rest because they really weren't that memorable.

They run into some people along the way including Law & Order: SVU star Chris Meloni who plays a father trying to get his infected little girl to a treatment facility he’s hoping will have a cure for the virus.

Along the way a lot of people, usually one of our four heroes, do really, really stupid things.

I had hoped this movie would be a smart take on the “virus genre” as I’ve just now named this type of movie. There are no zombies or even zombie-like folks running or shuffling about, just your basic end of the world virus and a quest for survival. We see a few infected people and they’re all bloody and veiny and basically unpleasant looking.

But back to the stupid things. When you, against your better judgment, pick up someone who is infected and isolate them in the back of your Jeep Cherokee you never, never, never tear down the plastic barrier without your mask and gloves on (also everyone should have been wearing goggles since infected body fluids can easily transmit this crud, so another demerit for missing that obvious precaution). Of course the barrier is broken, so of course one of our dumbass quartet gets infected. And of course this idiot doesn’t tell the rest of their comrades in arms/masks about said exposure ("Say nothing. Act casual."). And of course when you wander around a place like an an abandoned home or golf resort without checking it out, other survivors, usually the asshole kind, will mosey back home and find you fucking around with their shit and will likely be pissed. And they'll want to rape your wimmens. Also, since you drive around with two beautiful girls, you might want to remember that last part and save your ammo for protecting them and yourselves and not waste in on shooting at law enforcement signs. Just stupid at every turn.

This movie played like 90210 AV:After the Virus. Good-looking young people do exceptionally stupid things. They never acted like they’d seen the world crumble around them. They never acted like they were affected by anything. Seeing parents and friends die (there was one brief scene concerning Brian and Danny’s parents but Pine had his stupid paper mask on the whole time - smart movie covering half your actor's face!). Watch neighbors kill each other over the last cans of food and water. Also Chris Pine is making a career playing the "Chris Pine character": the good-lookin', cocky jerk who gets the cute girl cuz he's good-lookin'. And cocky.

Apparently they shot a lot of this on the highways of New Mexico which are simply too pretty and picturesque for an end-of-the-world movie with their blue-blue skies, white fluffy clouds, green shrubs and beautiful red rocks. What a huge misstep it was to do that. Surely they could have found some abandoned or little used highways, preferably deserted or desert-looking, and shot there, similar to what The Road did by shooting on the Abandoned Pennsylvannia Turnpike.

Additionally, the movie would have been better served if they shot it in grainy 16mm and bleached most of the color out, like they did in Saving Private Ryan. Note to low budget filmmakers: THE END OF THE WORLD SHOULD NOT BE A PRETTY-LOOKING AFFAIR!

I think the point of the movie, as near as I could figure out, was that people in their early 20s are too stupid to survive an apocalypse. Don't you be stupid and watch this turkey.

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