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I don’t know about you, but over the last few years I’ve started carrying around some hand sanitizer. One in the car, one if the office, one at home. While I’m not a germ-a-phobe, Contagion didn’t do me any favours and if you’re anyway inclined it won’t do you any either. Stock up on the hand sanitizer.
For the last few years, the planet has had it’s fair share of “diseases” from Swine Flu, Bird Flu or even Na’Vi flu, and so on. So it was only a matter of time before someone got some cash together and made a movie about an outbreak of a deadly disease (yet again, although this time it’s a bit more close to home). That’s essentially the story too. A deadly disease is discovered with it’s origins in Hong Kong and things go from bad to worse within the first 5 minutes of the movie. People start dropping off like flies as the world is quickly almost brought to it’s knees from the outbreak as some our intrepid cast struggle to find a cure. Throw into the mix an immune Matt Damon, a conspiracy theorist blogger in the form of Jude Law and a whole bunch of other heavy hitters including Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburn and you have what starts out as a pretty damn gripping and engaging piece of cinema.


Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Contagion grips you from the get go. Door handles, sneezing, coughing even a fan on a wall all hit you as deadly carriers of disease. It’s quite masterful the effect to be honest. Every object that could be a carrier is always in frame and blindingly obvious it can cause a problem that could kill. Couple this with a tense soundtrack and you will honestly start freaking out if someone behind you starts coughing or sneezing.  So that’s the way the movie works. Short interludes with the cast, montages, good soundtrack but after the first half, it gets a bit repetitive, and you find yourself wishing for something a bit more to happen. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but the effect is overused. The second half of the movie get’s a little bit predictable (as you could imagine) and the final quarter leaves enough loose ends and plot holes to make you wonder how the hell did things start out so well and end up so lacklustre. That said, there is a nice structure to the story, which starts on day 2 of the outbreak and works upwards from there, coupled with the occasional flash back of figuring out the origins.
The performances from the, let it be said, decent cast are fine.  Nothing to blow your mind or anything, but convincing enough, in particular Jude Law. Although, given there are quite a number of characters, this leads to an under utilisation of the entire cast and making a connection with any of them is a tough call.

Overall Contagion is worth a watch, and while it’s clever, it starts crumbling to pieces in the latter half, which is almost unfathomable considering the first half is so gripping. More of a common flu as opposed to a deadly disease!

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