Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Movie Review: Contagion

Don't catch this disease. Contagion is like watching a documentary from the Center for Disease Control, only the cast is all famous actors. There's Laurence Fishburne, as a concerned director. There's Gwyneth Paltrow, traveling back from Asia, coughing, and then dropping in a seizure on the kitchen floor while her husband, Matt Damon urges her to stop seizing. There's Gwyneth, all frothing at the mouth in the hospital, and then dead. Uh-oh. (No surprising spoiler alerts ahead - we're talking fatal disease here)

Slowly we see people all over the world, feverish and then dead - China, Japan, London, and then little Gwyneth in Minnesota. That's the puzzlement. But she was in Hong Kong and Chicago, and alas while cheating on her hubby, spreading fatal germs. Marion Cottillard is with the World Health Org. She's off to Hong Kong to connect the dots. Kate Winslet, lucky girl, is assigned to MN. Pale and wan, she dies a slightly prettier death than Gwyneth.

Lots of scientists peer into microscopes and discuss cell growth and linkages. Lots of folks with clipboards, and plenty of teleconferencing. No one in this movie gets to smile. Don't touch anyone or anything, or shake a hand.

Contagion is boring. You don't really get to meet and know these people enough to care. We all know how disease spreads - human contact. And yes, with planes, trains, and grocery shopping, we all know how fast disease spreads. Nothing new in this film. Lots of people talking, looking worried, and then worried with face masks.

Fortunately no one in our theater coughed, and I have to say I was conscious of touching the handrails on the way out. But the only infection we caught was ennui.



  1. I totally agree with you. There were literally no character arcs. No one changed from the beginning of the movie to the end. Plus, besides the disease, where was the conflict? Like when they told the professor to destroy his samples and stop working on it, but he doesn't listen. There was no consequence. It was just like--oh good job on finding the answer.

    And what was Jude Law's purpose or Kate Winset's for that matter? You're totally right, it felt like one of those National Geographic "what if" documentaries.

    Sorry, I haven't been able to vent to anyone else who saw it besides my husband, lol.

  2. Hey Roni
    I was killing time because my husband hosted poker at our house. Truly, I had nothing else to do - oh, maybe write,etc. but nah! had to leave the house and do something. I love the movies. I loved this cast. But what a waste!!!
    Loved your comments.

    And I absolutely love your blog! I don't comment all the time, but you are amazing and awesome.
    Thanks for visitng and venting. I am the movie critic for The Little Paper of San Saba - a town with no theater. Rah!

  3. Well, I wasn't planning on seeing it, but now I really won't bother.

  4. Haven't seen this one, but I usually like Jude Law's acting. From your review, there doesn't seem to be too much to this movie, but I'll probably give it a try anyways.

    I've recently watched Fast Five (not sure if it's your cup of tea) and was disappointed by it. The first was thrilling but this last one turned into a completely different type of movie. Read a hilarious blog about it written by Cate Von Smith-Bauder that explains it way better than I ever could.

    Anyway nice blog and keep it up!

  5. Thanks, Joan! You're too sweet. :) And that's great that you do movie reviews for a theater-less town, lol.