Written by: Reijen
This being my first review, forgive me for any ignorance on my part.
A lethal virus is wiping out all of mankind. A few of the last survivors, a band of 4 friends, overcome this disaster the only way they can: surviving. Along the way though, they'll encounter obstacles more tragic than the virus, that will put their bond to the test.
The movie opens with a family enjoying a day on the beach, paying particular attention to two boys playing with their father. The ocean is shown, and as the blue water covers the screen, we're shift next to our blue skies. Upside down, a car drives by, The Road Warrior, and the camera flips as they past by, driving down the empty desert.
I like that right off the bat, both the camera work, and the setting. The desert I felt gave me a sense that the world was becoming devoid of life (human life that is). Don't we all get that sense that we're the only ones left on this planet when we drive down a dusty desert road?
We're immediately introduced to our characters as well. Brian (Chris Pine) looks like the jock and brawn of the group, but is also shown to be the leader of this foursome. The choices he makes later in the film shows that this title does not go unwarranted. Sitting next to him, is his girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo) who is a fun loving gal just trying to make the best out of this horrible situation. Behind them is Brian's younger brother, Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), a smart man who was to attend Yale, until the outbreak occurred. Last we're introduced to Kate (Emily VanCamp), a simple girl who seems to have no connections with the rest, and so I never felt attached to her.
I will point out however that she is the most logical and most influential of the group, and I think that's what her purpose was, as a person who moves along the plot as a tool, not a character.
These four follow simple rules to survive the day. Carry lots of beach and don't come into contact with the infected. Eventually, some of these crucial rules must be broken for the group to continue on, with The Road Warrior breaking down, and they come across a father and his daughter, who is severely infected. They strike a deal with the two, promising to take them to a hospital that's said to have a serum, in exchange for use of their vehicle. Arriving at the hospital, it turns out there was no cure, just a serum that could delay the virus for an extra three days. The doctor who helped create this serum, believes such a fate is not worth giving, and as he said "living is sometimes a more painful way of dying". With that glimpse of hope having faded, the group must decide what to do with the father and his daughter, who infects one of them.
I can't go on too much into this film without releasing too much detail, especially as this film could be considered short (84 mins). I will say though, that it was enjoyable, if not depressing as well. From the start of the film, we do have a horrible virus wreaking havoc, but these four deal with it. In the end though, all their decisions make me believe mankind is nothing but a selfish beast, who will do anything and kill anyone to survive, even if their continuing existence means a life of nothing.
I will say though, that the character of Brian surprised me. He gives off this sense of arrogance and machoism that makes me wish he was the first to die, but like I said, I was surprised. He shows a love for his brother that would only show in such dire circumstances, where his act, his leadership, his decisions, are all so that Danny can enjoy a conscience-free life. Interestingly enough, Danny does face the inevitable, as he can't live such a life anymore in his world, and he's left with an ocean-side home, filled with memories that is now but an empty shelter.
Overall, I give this film props for portraying an excellent envrionment; of a dead world. Some characters could have been drawn out, such as Bobby, but overall, I think the main focus was on Brian and Danny. Start to finish, the film was about them, and I enjoyed the interactions the two add, both the good and bad. I can't give this film full marks though, for emotional reasons. I dislike films that don't give even a glimpse of hope, which I know I can't expect from these types of films, but I'm the kinda guy who believes good should prevail above all else.
That being said, watch this film. I don't think you'll be disappointed. And thanks for reading my first review. Let me know what you think.