What can I say… I left Contagion, went straight to the Men's room and washed my hands. I got home and found the hand sanitizer and doused them again. I was annoyed every time someone coughed in the movie because I thought I was sure to be infected by some contagion. Maybe that was the purpose of this movie. Just an hour and 45 minute commercial (right before Flu season) reminding us to wash up or else! I didn't find this movie to be very good at all, but it's not the typical movie I would go to see either. As this is my first movie review, I tried to go into it with an open mind and not make any judgments before hand. 10 minutes into it, I was bored to say the least. But read on to find out more about the plot and why I failed to see the point.
Beth Emhoff (Paltrow) comes back from a business trip in Hong Kong where she contracted a lethal virus. When she returns home to her Husband (damon) and child in Minnesota what she thinks to be jet lag turns out to be something much much worse. A few days later Emhoff and her son are dead and the doctors have no clue why. At the same time, several people begin to show similar symptoms including fever, sweating, blurry vision, coughing, which eventually lead to seizures, brain hemorrhages and sooner than later… Death. In several large cities throughout the world including Chicago, London, Tokyo, Minneapolis, and Hong Kong the outbreak begins. Transmission of the virus is quick and the symptoms are too. The affected begin to multiply at an uncontrollable rate. First individual cities are affected, then states, then entire countries are over run with it, fueled by the countless social interactions that an average day holds. Mass hysteria and a global outbreak occurs. At the Center for Disease control Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) tries to get a handle on the contagion before it mutates further. He sends what seems to be a rookie doctor to Minneapolis to set up a containment center for the affected, but… She contracts the disease herself and dies shortly thereafter. Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) , a government conspiracy blogger, gets wind of a potential cure and begins to blog about why the Government is hiding it from them, and claims that the people of the world aren't getting the whole truth about the outbreak and sends people into a frenzy of looting and lawlessness. Dr. Leonora Orantes of the World Health Organization is developing several different vaccines for the disease and eventually she finds one that doesn't kill the test subject and to expedite the testing process she injects the untested vaccine into herself. As the death toll grows and people gain the realization that their society is deteriorating, the Government finally releases the vaccine to people.
Contagion is billed as an action thriller. I completely disagree, it felt more like a docudrama. If you are going into this movie thinking Matt Damon performs high speed chases or channels his inner Jason Bourne, you would be completely wrong. Damon plays a mild mannered husband and father. He does carry a double barrel shotgun at one point during the movie but that's it. I say that the movie starts slow, but really there are only like 2 to 3 bursts of interesting suspenseful plot-line in the whole movie. A kidnapping scene, which the movie barely scrapes over, a break in at the neighbors house, and the Doctor who injects herself. Does it work???? Yes it does. The soundtrack sounded like a low budget horror film from the eighties too. It really cheapened an already bad movie. One other thing I learned form those movie is to never shake hands with a chef at a casino…
Contagion is rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language. There is an autopsy scene where they fold Paltrow's scalp over her face. There are several scenes of either dying or dead people and mass graves of people in shrink-wrap. The language didn't really stand out to me but i wouldn't be surprised if there were a few scattered throughout the movie.
My recommendation for this movie is to watch a few PSA's about hand washing at home and save yourself the time and money.
Contagion gets 1 broken guitar out of 5
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