Rounding out the last of the infection themed movies for the week, Carriers is one that I hadn’t heard anything about. It’s got Chris Pine in it and came out the same year as Star Trek but apparently Captain Kirk’s star power is only so useful. It also stars a few other people you’d recognize like Agent 13 from Winter Soldier and that dude from Law & Order: SVU. Together you get a pretty decent cast for a pretty decent movie about being a huge asshole in an apocalypse scenario.
The story focuses on a group of friends with the main dynamic being the relationship of the two brothers Brian (Pine) and Danny. They are all trying to get to the beach spot that they used to go to as kids because that seems about as good a place as any when a highly infectious disease has been killing people globally. They have several rules in place that are designed to keep them safe. 1. Avoid the infected at all costs. 2. Disinfect anything that they might have touched. 3. The sick are already dead, they can’t be saved. Although, really, 1 and 3 pretty much mean the same thing but whatever. They will, of course, immediately disregard these rules given the first opportunity. Which comes about 5 minutes into the movie when they come across a sick girl and her father.
The whole movie runs on the tension between the brothers. Not only do we get the standard sort of sibling rivalry stuff but we get a whole slew of other things. Danny was going to get a scholarship to Yale and the friend he brought along was definitely upper class. Brian, however, is seen as being a regular working stiff and, in fact, worked moving bodies into mass graves before they all left. There are also religious tensions as Brian is shown as having a belief in God while Danny mocks the idea, though later on Danny will attempt to convince others that he’s a Christian so that he can get some gas from them. Perhaps the greatest tension is that Brian is constantly the one making the tough decisions, even coming up with the rules, while Danny just goes along.
The movie has a lot of interesting stuff going on, as far as the messages that it espouses. At one point we see a doctor about to administer a Jonestown style punch to a group of children that have been infected. When they attempt to stop him he tells about all the awful effects of the virus and how “sometimes choosing life is just a more painful form of choosing death”, which is at least a poetic way of phrasing the assisted suicide debate. One of the final messages of the movie is how survival is essentially meaningless when it leaves you all alone. Along the way the characters descended more and more into a “survival at any cost” attitude that included abandoning people and even murder. In the end, though, survival doesn’t mean much if it results in the loss of everything you care about.
In all, I give the movie a 3 out of 5. It was definitely solid and a decent watch. Not the scariest or best but it deals with the themes of the movie well.
Favorite thing in the movie: How quickly and completely they abandon the rules.
Least favorite thing: They are wearing dust masks to help prevent them from getting infected while around the sick and those things wouldn’t stop literally any airborne disease.