The Carrier (2015)
Directed by: Anthony Woodley
Written by: Anthony Woodley, Helen Kingston, Luke Healy, Stefan Mitchell
Starring: Billy Clarke, Edmund Kingsley, Jack Gordon, Joe Dixon, Josie Taylor, Karen Bryson, Luke Healy
THE CARRIER (2015)
Directed by Anthony Woodley
With the world descending into chaos after an untreatable disease outbreak, a 747 passenger jet carrying survivors is attempting to make its journey to Greenland. With the infection already spreading onboard and a passenger intent on sabotaging their escape plan, the pilot is forced to land the plane at an airstrip in England but what waits for them could be as dangerous as what’s onboard.
From director Anthony Woodley, who previously brought us Outpost 11, THE CARRIER depicts life for a group of struggling survivors during the middle of an outbreak. With no-where to escape to except the isolated island of Greenland, the survivors yearn for a new start there but with the virus already onboard the plane, they must react accordingly to prevent spreading the virus and becoming infected themselves. When pilot Tobias is forced to land at the airstrip, they realise that one of their own is intent on sabotaging their escape and so the survivors must work together to get out of there safely. When everyone has their own agenda and ideas on how to deal with the outbreak though, will all be resolved as smoothly as they hope?
For an outbreak action-drama, I expected the threat of the pandemic to be more serious than it has been represented in this movie. Apart from a few ruthless beatings of the infected by one of the characters, the threat of the infection lacks the urgency and intensity that has been present in other movies and the film suffers for it. Whilst over-the-top emotions would normally grate, this kind of reaction is what I would expect from people fearing and fighting for their lives yet there’s only one character who seems to embrace this idea and react in manner I would expect, even if it’s not as in-your-face as I would have hoped for. The other characters, both onboard and on land, have very little about them and are too bland to invest in, be it for good or ill, with a lack of personality and seemingly unperturbed by the whole scenario they have found themselves in.
As the main star of the film, the disease is the antagonist that everyone should fear but little is ever explained about it other than its resistance to antibiotics. From what I could gather from the film, the infection itself doesn’t seem to kill its hosts but merely disfigure them. It’s not mentioned whether they’ll gradually become so disfigured and sick that they’ll die but a simple scratch from an infected person is enough to pass on the disease. Abandoned by their own and treated like outsiders, the infected are as keen as the survivors to escape their living hell and will do anything to get out.
Lacking tension, THE CARRIER plods along to its predictable conclusion. Even with a performance from Outpost 11 standout Billy Clarke, the film struggles to become the survival drama it yearns to and is expected to be, offering little else than some mildly put-out passengers who look as though they’d wished they flown first class instead.