Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast–moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.
Not one of Matt Damon's best acting jobs. It seemed like he was just doing it for the money and had no emotional attachment to the role. How they find the cure was stupid. You would think that it would have been a little better of a way. If you decide to skip this movie you really aren't missing anything. 5/10
Contagion ends well, but is a little boring. I usually like movies that others often call boring (look at my review of drive (2011,)) but this was ridiculous. It’s hard to care about our characters.
The movie just tries to follow too many different plot lines, and it only needed two of them. Both Jude Law and Marion Cotillard story threads are unnecessary and take up massive amounts of the movie as well as from the characters that matter.
I kind of see what Soderbergh was trying to do here, he was showing all the different sides of an epidemic, but an hour and a half is not enough to cover so much. Even if there was more time in the movie I’m not sure Steven Soderbergh has the skill to take it on.
The movie makes an interesting point on disease, but the characters and plot fall flat. This was a complex story telling idea that needed another hour to work, and another director, probably Paul Thomas Anderson.
Contagion may draw audiences in with the promise of rampant lethal disease and a star studded or, dare I say (shamelessly), infected ensemble cast, but what you instead get is an eerily all-too-possible account of a SARS, H1N1, chicken flu, swine flu, rhino flu, or whatever this year's imminent viral threat may be, gone very, very wrong.
Gwyneth Paltrow makes a cameo as American patient zero Beth Emhoff who contracts the rapidly terminal bug on a business trip to Hong Kong. On her way back to hometown Minneapolis, unfortunately for her fellow adulterer/lover and the entire city of Chicago, she has a layover that later dooms the midwest to a Christmas time quarantine. Her hubby, Mitch (Matt Damon), is conveniently immune to the virus, but not to the infectious fear that sweeps the rest of the world, especially as he attempts to protect his daughter, Jory (Anna Jacoby-Heron).
Other ensemble players include Lawrence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Elliot Gould, who play the world's healers, each, in some way, using their knowledge of medicine and research to procure a vaccine and help reverse the pandemic. Of particular note is Jennifer Ehle's (BBC's Pride and Prejudice) role as researcher Dr. Ally Hextall. Her performance balances the uneasy line between professional duty and personal responsibility as her critical understanding of the disease forces her to act instinctively and rationally, a conflict that other characters have difficulty struggling with as their knowledge and power corrupt their moral compass.
While there's no traditional villain (you can't really count slimeball conspirator and overgrown blogger Alan Krumwiede, played by a gracelessly aging Jude Law), the disease and in many ways society itself claims a large fraction of the title. Perhaps that is what is so terrifying about the film: the notion that an unnameable force can tear through and infect distrust and distance in a world that so readily embraces social networking and global connection. It's unsettling and ironic to say the least, and though things aren't exactly tightly woven by the end of the film, we leave at least a little relieved that trust is perhaps the best remedy of all.