As an epidemic of a lethal airborne virus - that kills within days - rapidly grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself.
I watched Contagion when traveling in the US back in 2011 and I must admit that after a full day of sightseeing, I actually fell asleep during the film. To my defense, the movie is not having such a high pace. No big dramatic scenes. No screaming. Just a story that unfolds like the virus does.
Nine years later, we are in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic and rewatching it in the midst of this crisis is astonishing. While the story doesn't unfolds exactly the same way, many aspects are dramatically identical.
What I liked a lot is the way filmmaker Steven Soderbergh was able to get an ultra-realistic tone. The actors are all wonderful in their low-key performances. And I must say that as years go by, I crave for realism in cinema. From the very first scene, things are and feel natural. And I really liked that. This is also the downside of this cinema, the film is quite boring, especially in its second half. But still, I liked it and while I get it deserves a 6, I'll give it a 7 because of how premonitory it was.
I give it 7 out of 10. Excellent.
Since watching this movie I think I feel differently when people around me start sneezing.
I have a special place in my heart for the medical thriller. Looking back, I believe it stems both from being sick a lot when I was a kid, and from really enjoying great ones over the years, like 'Coma' and 'Outbreak'. As well, more recently I remember the panic both my son's mother and I tended to have when our son was born during the SARS epidemic back in 2003. Needless to say, when one of these films comes along, it's only a matter of time before it crosses my path.
Director Soderbergh is intelligent enough to really make this material work, going at it from every conceivable angle (and many inconceivable ones!) yet still giving it coherence in a decent runtime (not a Bay-esque three hours) and there's enough star power to keep one's attention. The best kind of review for these sort of films is that it leaves you thinking twice before you have an affair, or even throw out your Kleenex, and that's specifically what Soderbergh's work here does.
Even if Contagion has a decent star line up for a disease epidemic movie such as Matt Damon, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne but the film itself actually felt really flat and I thought it was very disappointing to be honest. I was actually expecting a lot more from this but instead the story just wasn't very thrilling and exciting and most of the main characters were completely meaningless and uninteresting.
Matt Damon plays one of the better main characters who is trying to keep his daughter safe from the infection but I think this subplot was very underdeveloped and they could have expanded on this more to give it more of a thrilling story to really show the world going to Hell. I mean the film itself is ok but it's a very flawed and I was actually expecting a more bleak ending.