Movie Review: Contagion

Posted: September 11, 2011 in movie reviews, movies
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I don’t know how to describe how I feel about this movie. Only that, it didn’t feel like a movie at all. It felt more like a documentary, or a big budgeted PSA about washing your hands and not touching your face.


Starring: Matt Damon, Gwenyth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishbourne.

Premise: A wife comes home from business trip with a head cold and a day later collapses into a seizure a few hours after that she’s dead. As cases like this pop up all over the world, we begin to find up it’s a deadly and highly contagious virus that kills people rapidly and without prejudice. No one knows how to stop it and everyone starts panicking, isolating themselves from everyone and everything.

My Review: I was really excited for this movie. I love disaster/end of the world type movies and the cast for this movie is phenomenal. Unfortunately for me, this movie didn’t live up to my expectations. It was missing something. It was missing the movie, in fact, the slight element of fiction. Sure some movies like to be as realistic as possible, but this movie was just realistic, it was clinical. It was cold. Almost like a documentary. Save for Matt Damon’s character, you didn’t really know or care about any of the other characters. They didn’t really have a story. They were just people. There was no change or redemption in the end.

As the virus spread in the movie, the citizens were told not to touch each other, to stay away from each other and to become isolated. And the characters we followed in the movie did just that. They became isolated. They didn’t interact with anyone. And I found myself just not caring. I can’t even speak about the acting because I almost feel like the actors weren’t given a chance to act – to stretch themselves. The only real stand out was Matt Damon but only because the way he yells, “What happened to her?” is so damn powerful it’s hard to shake from my mind.

The movie was also way too heavy handed with the conspiracies and the cover-ups. And there came a point where I just didn’t understand why I was watching, and why I should care.

Overall the whole was like a big PSA as to how to avoid things like this from happening in real life. It wasn’t terrible, by any means. It was entertaining, exciting at some parts, but it just didn’t feel like a movie. Come on Soderbergh, you can do better than this. Plus, once the movie was over I couldn’t help thinking, I can’t wait for Contagion 2 when Gwenyth Paltrow comes back as a zombie.

Rating: 2 ½ stars.




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