My Review of "Contagion"
A movie that came out in 2011 that is more relevant than ever today.
Every few years there's a new virus that makes everyone fear for their lives. This year it's the new Coronavirus. So I guess the writers of Contagion discovered this trend when they recognized how much SARS and H1N1 freaked us all out.
Obviously the new Coronavirus is lighting up headlines in the news as of late so when I saw Contagion on Netflix, I couldn't resist but watch the movie. It may have been strategically placed in there as they know this is flu season. Netflix also coincidentally recently released a new exclusive TV series called Pandemic. It's pretty odd that Netflix would have such good timing.
Anyways, I have heard of the movie Contagion a while back but was never interested. I don't know why either. I love disaster movies, but getting to watch these movies takes me forever. It takes disasters in real life to peak my interest in the subject matters.
This movie starts with Gwyneth Paltrow who plays Beth. She's a pharmaceutical worker that travels around the world for her work. She's contracted some disease in Asia and doesn't realize it. When she gets home she basically coughs all over everyone and everything in her path including her young son.
Matt Damon is her loving husband who is somehow immune to all diseases and discovers something's not quite right as his wife suddenly has violent seizures and faints with froth coming out of her mouth. He brings his wife to the hospital and she dies there. He then discovers his son has the disease when he comes home and discovers the dead body.
Now this story could have went from here but this movie had to try to cover too much in one movie. They decided that they might want to add a few other story-lines that don't exactly have any connection other than that they live in the same diseased world. I could see this working as a TV show but in a movie it's a lot to take and could end up dragging the movie. For me, it really dragged the movie.
There's Lawrence Fishburne who plays Dr. Cheevers. Dr. Cheevers is basically this head honcho of this health organization called CDC. They plan out and organize around the world to contain diseases and try to find a vaccine. He's sent one of his cohorts out into the field to set something up in a town and that's a story of it's own.
Then there's the story of Dr. Orantes played by Marion Cotillard. She's in Hong Kong trying to determine the origin of the virus but there's a twist to this story that was so unnecessary for this movie. It's like a blip in the movie and just seemed a little out of place.
They tried to make Jude Law a villain when he plays Alan, a new blogger. He's basically a scumbag reporter trying to make a quick buck from the horrible situation. It's so obvious that the film was trying to make a few messages but this message was blatant. Look out for online bloggers, they're not real journalists we shouldn't just believe them. Yeah, that's kind of obvious. Then again if you consider this movie came out back in 2011, it's a smart message because today we believe in bloggers more than ever. Back in 2011, people actually still read newspapers.
The subject matter is great. I even like a lot of the concepts for this movie. They foresaw a few things that would happen in the future. As a movie, it kind of falls short in the entertainment factor. I thought it was a bit of a mess because it didn't focus on one thing in particular that we could keep up with.
When they tried to look back into the origins of the disease they had so much potential but they end up getting a little lazy. Then there's the story of Matt Damon's character Mitch. They could have done more with that story but they opted to make it a little blip. There's the story of the violence that started and they didn't continue with that either. There are so many stories that just don't end in this movie. I guess it's up to the viewers to just figure it out but some of the things that happen are pretty heinous and have no resolution.
Overall, I liked the concepts and the whole premise of the movie. I just wished that they stuck to something. They could have had sequels to tell their additional stories. Maybe it would have been better written as a TV series than a movie. I was mildly entertained throughout the movie so I can't give it a horrible score, but with so many stories that went on that didn't have resolutions I can't give it a great score either. I'll have to give this movie a 6 out of 10. Some people may not mind some of my gripes of this film and just enjoy the heck out of the movie but I really think it killed what could have been a great movie.