56: Contagion

Contagion – September 9, 2011
Starring: Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow
Written by: Scott Z. Burns
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

The plot: “A thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.” – IMDB

My thoughts: Holy shit, this was like the Valentine’s Day/New Year’s Eve of epidemic movies. And now that I’m writing about this movie, I’m starting to wonder what was so alluring to these mostly A-list actors? I doubt any of the characters were especially tantalizing nor did they seem to stand for something bigger than themselves, at least not in my opinion. They were mostly two-dimensional characters where there was just enough back story to think “Oh, okay, I get why she’s doing this then,” but not enough to not want them to contract the disease.

I have no idea what kind of science went into this movie, but it seemed relatively realistic as to what would happen if an epidemic like the one in the movie happened today. People would probably freak out pretty quickly and yet at the same time, wouldn’t be very smart about keeping themselves safe. So yeah, millions of people would probably definitely die and it would turn into a big political thing.

The only not average thing about this movie was the score by Cliff Martinez, now gaining a ton of popularity for being the man who scored Drive. I said in my review of that movie that I wasn’t a fan of the music – more specifically, the combination of the film and music. The music itself was good and it was just as good in Contagion. It’s nice to hear a composer taking a different approach to a movie’s score (much like Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross in The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). As much as I love John Williams and Hans Zimmer’s work, I’ve been enjoying the direction that a lot of blockbuster films have been going with their scores.

Anyway, it was super average. It was predictable which is not to say that it wasn’t at least a little bit interesting. Aside from the score, the best part was how the movie showed how the disease was being spread; lots of close-ups and lingering shots of every surface touched by an infected person and then touched by a potential victim. Dun-dun-dun!!! It was definitely a germaphobe’s nightmare.

Stars: 2/5 (the score and I got to see Gwyneth Paltrow die in a not-so-cute way!)

One thought on “56: Contagion

  1. I have not seen this movie yet but I am going to rent it as soon as it comes out. Movies like this with mega-many stars in it, like the Airport movies of the 70’s are usually shallow like you said. There is too much ‘star power’ and not enough time to develop characters. Don’t tell anyone but I’m not a huge fan of Soderbergh either. Thanks for the critique.

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