Saturday, September 17, 2011

Contagion - Movie Review

I finally got out to a movie the other night and decided to see the movie with the blockbuster cast and which had done so well at the box office. I was disappointed with what I found in the movie Contagion.

Steven Soderberg directed the movie and Scott Burns wrote the script. Despite the great cast, the plot is predictable and the suspense isn't suspenseful. The acting was very perfunctory and with the exception of Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne, the characters just did not generate any interest or creativity. Matt Damon was especially uninspiring in his role, which, was an extremely predictable role as he loses his wife who he later finds was cheating on him and is stepson as some of the first victims only to find out that he is immune to the virus. His subsequent portrayal as a single father of a high schooler--his daughter by a previous marriage, is equally predictable, uninspiring and somewhat thuggish.

The story is simple--a new virus, the combination of two species DNA through a unique and hopefully improbable event, gets started in China and rapidly spreads around the globe through the wonders of the interconnected nature of our world. The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, play a central role in defining and developing the vaccine to counter the breakout. There is the typical bureaucratic and governmental slams highlighting the inefficiencies of the system and of course it all works and we are saved through the actions of a renegade hero doctor who finds, tests and gets the vaccine deployed in record time. Yawn!

The character development is very weak and the movie never develops the relationships between the characters nor provides a reason for me to care about the characters even when they contract the virus and die. It is almost as if, since they we going to die, the editors carved out any scenes devoted to character development to shorten the movie.

Fortunately, the movie is only 1h46m long--even though it seemed like it would never end.

Recommendation--MUST MISS! I cannot recommend this movie unless you need some dark, alone time for a nap.

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