Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Carriers" movie review

This movie gets 5 stars for Chris Pine alone!

Carriers is about a group of friends struggling to survive in a world stricken by a deadly plague. As they travel cross-county to seek refuge at an old, isolated beachside hotel, they have to figure what is the biggest enemy--the flu or themselves?

Carriers takes some hints from a lot of post-apocalyptic films. There's no stealing or ripping off; this movie applied the 'lessons' learned regarding battling viruses that have no cure and keeping one's loved ones safe from the rotten part of humanity.

There's a little bit of social commentary regarding the way we isolate ourselves from one another, and the more blatant avian/swine flu references, but it's negligible, and the viewer can easily get lost in Chris Pine's eyes once more...

The movie starts with Brian, his girlfriend Bobby, Brian's brother Danny, and his platonic friend Kate, cruising along, musing about the rhetoric of breaking rules when there's no one to enforce them. They come across a stranded father (Yum-tastic Christopher Meloni from Law and Order: SVU) and his infected daughter. Confrontation ensues, and they all end up traveling toward a supposed safe haven, with the infected kid and her dad in the back of the SUV behind plastic.

Bobby breaks one of Chris's rules. Rather than own up, she hides it, and tension erupts between all four when they begin to contemplate loss and love and being completely alone in a dying world.All through the first half of the movie, Kate barely speaks, barely responds. At a makeshift memorial, something visibly clicks inside her head. There's a shift in action when wall-flower, mousy Kate suddenly usurps the alpha-bitch position.

I loved the subtly of that ease into power. Granted, I hated what Kate's character became by the end of the movie, but the way her passive-aggressive tendencies came out and influenced everything that happened. She wanted to survive. It wasn't until the worst happened that she realized that. She acknowledged her losses, finally, and grabbed ahold of what was left. Control and Danny. While Danny didn't let her control him directly, sweet, quiet Kate turned into a manipulative hootch.

Chris Pine took Brian's character--the requisite brute of average intelligence that plows through everything with a bottle of beer in one hand and a smart-ass remark in the other--and did a remarkable job in this movie. Piper Perabo played Bobby, and the chemistry between the two of them felt natural and made the group dynamics so much deeper. There's a moment during the movie when you just groan, Oh no, not that!

Carriers will stick with you. It's not scary, not much of a thriller, although it's got some tense scenes and a really gross dog scene, this movie is a great example of character development, and of a character-driven story.

Chris Pine did an awesome job as Captain Kirk, and with this movie, he's gained another sturdy foothold.

No comments: