106 Min | Drama – Sci-Fi – Thriller | October 2011
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law
Contagion Review: Contagion is a 2011 film directed by Steven Soderbergh. It is based on a globe-spanning epidemic thriller. Contagion is full of many off putting moments, and Soderbergh has great fun expertly grossing us out, while telling a story, vetted by experts, we’re told, that seems all-too plausible. Contagion is shot as a docudrama, and it certainly propels you through its sub-two-hour running time: You’ll never be bored, except perhaps during a dead-end subplot about a kidnapping in China. There were too many characters that didn’t go into much detail, and that the film could have been better had they reduced these subplots. Matt Damon’s character plot is the main plot, which is the most engaging. Followed up by Kate Winslet’s subplot which also includes Laurence Fishburne.
Contagion is smart and well-made as it is, makes few emotional connections, perhaps because it’s too ready to skip on to the next anecdote. Everyone on the planet is at risk, but we don’t get to really know any of them. Filled with an ensemble cast, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Gweneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, among others. Only Winslet, as a no-nonsense epidemic investigator willing to get close to the plague, rises above her few pages in the script.
Any thriller needs a villain, and Contagion finds its in Law, who’s wearing an ugly snaggletooth that’s a little too obvious a sign of his rottenness. The real villain needed to be the plague. But lacking much of a human touch in the storytelling, it stays just a remove or two away, even as it spreads across the planet and civilization breaks down. There’s anarchy in the streets and they’re running out of body bags, but Contagion keeps us at a distance, rarely has the death of millions seemed so inconsequential. However, Contagion should have been more engaging and interesting.