Carriers (15)

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The Independent Culture

It's the end of the world as we know it, and four survivors are driving along a deserted American highway towards the ocean, trying to avoid random carriers of the virus that's done for planet Earth.

Leading their escape is Brian (Chris Pine), an A-grade asshole who slobbers over his girlfriend (Piper Perabo) and bullies his younger brother (Lou Taylor Pucci), then faces a tough decision when a man and his infected young daughter beg them for help. Writer-director brothers Alex and David Pastor initially deliver a queasy mixture of survivalist machismo and mawkish piety, unwisely forefronting Pine as a sort of moronic pragmatist. "I've just met you and I'm already sick of you," says someone – hear, hear, I muttered. But in the final reel, when the virus comes home to roost, the film suddenly enters a new dimension of moral mayhem and Darwinian principles savagely upend the cosy camaraderie. It's a bit late, but it did qualify as a surprise.