September 9, 2011

Contagion - 2011

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Lawrence Fishburne, John Hawkes, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Demitri Martin, Bryan Cranston

"The average person touches their face three to five times every waking minute. In between, we're touching door knobs, water fountains and each other." This ensemble film depicts the all-too-quick worldwide spread of an unknown virus, and the crumbling of society as those in power desperately attempt to discover a cure.

Once again, I must take the path less traveled when compared to my distinguished competitors. I'll respect Soderbergh until the day he dies (both for his unique manipulation of the Hollywood system and the quality of his passion projects), and the cast is nothing short of remarkable (with the notable exception of Martin, who seems terribly out of place); however, the movie's downfall lies in its major script issues. The cast is rather large, and the plots don't cross over often enough to justify it all. It could have been pared down a good 25% or so and turned out significantly improved. It's also very heavy on medical jargon (WHO and CDC) and light on explanations. I wouldn't recommend anything more than matinee prices for this one. C

P.S.: A lot of this film (once the virus begins to take hold) deals with man's inhumanity to man, which was especially hard to watch for me, this weekend being what it is. The idea of people not banding together to help each other is truly disheartening to me.

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