Contagion: Movie Review

"Contagion" seeks to show the tempo and the danger of a global outbreak. We are pretty sure people can still remember the SARS or the H1N1 outbreak that happened not a long while ago. An epidemic (or actually a pandemic) can get really serious and that's a certainty but if our memory serves us correctly, the two outbreaks were contained swiftly and no significant damages to humanity occurred (thank God!). A testament to human ingenuity? Probably! Both forgettable? Definitely! But what we are actually trying to say here is that "Contagion" is like the two outbreaks. The premise of a new and unstoppable super virus had potential but it is a film that lacks any emotional attachments and a film that leaves a lot of loose ends behind. Our simple verdict? A potential lost indeed.

Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) and her son suddenly dies in a matter of few days. Left behind is her husband Thomas (Matt Damon). As doctors examine her body, they soon discover that she has died due to a undocumented lethal airborne virus. Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) as the head of the Center for Disease Control is now tasked to trace and to stop the spread of the virus in the United States. As the virus mutates into a serious pandemic, chaos and conspiracy ensues throughout the world. Can they find a vaccine in time before millions even billions are killed?

"Contagion" is mostly composed of rapidly changing sequences as it tries to show how serious the pandemic is and how the people-in-charge are trying their best to trace, stop and eventually find a vaccine. In this case though, it does not work at all. The fast-paced tone ironically does the complete opposite. It won't give you the time to interact and react to what's happening on-screen. Some characters are also significantly left out and the film might present a grave situation but completely forgets to follow-up on it or if it does, a lot of other things have already happened that you won't feel attached to it at all. Case in point is Marion Cottilard's character who gets kidnapped in Hong Kong but no one actually tries to do anything to save her. No news reports, no announcements, no panic - is this even a natural reaction? "Contagion" might deceive you that it will show chaos and madness once the MEV1 pandemic spreads throughout the world but in fact, it is a film that puts more emphasis on a conspiracy theory twist than focusing on the human factor. The biggest sin of "Contagion" is tries to do too much with a short running time. It could have definitely removed some characters (in our opinion Jude Law's character) for a better story and character development. For a thriller film, we never really felt the thrill or scare coming by.

Rating: 2 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the first half was actually good but when the conspiracy theory plot started to creep in, the film started to bog down

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- it's fast-paced nature won't leave any emotional attachments to characters and the situations they are put in
- some characters were left out significantly
- does not capture the thrill and scare of a pandemic



  1. I agree. contagion is the worst film i have ever seen!!!!!!! really dissapointed!!!!!