Monday, January 23, 2012

Contagion (2011)

Directed by: Steven Soderberg
Starring: Gweneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Lauerence Fishburne, and Jude Law.

"Contagion" is a medical thriller that should be a wake-up call for the entire world. The narrative focuses on how a viral strain spreads throughout the world through a series of hosts. The plot uncovers ground zero for the origin of the virus, and determines that it was spread from there. Beth Emhoff (Gwenneth Paltrow), a Minnesota woman contacts the virus after traveling to Hong Kong. A pandemic spreads throughout the world killing hundreds of thousands of people along the way. The American Centers for Disease Control is tasked with determining what the virus is and how to create a vaccine for it. An internet blogging conspiracy theorist, named Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) is skeptical of the government's true interest in solving the matter with claims of pharmaceutical companies profiting from the virus.

The narrative flows smoothly throughout the entire film, but it lacks the real "punch" the viewer is looking for. Simply stated, this film was good, but didn't leave me hanging on the edge of my seat like I thought it would, despite an A-List cast and an Oscar wining director. The plot moves at a meticulously slow pace, even though there is an element of panic involved in the sense that this could happen in real life.  There was a lot more potential in the role of Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon) to be expanded further, but didn't.

If anything, this film will make you consider asking yourself: Do you wash your hands after touching things in public? Are you skeptical of shaking someone's hand? Do you really know who is serving your food at your favorite restaurant? 

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