I had high hopes. The trailer was very effective. I was wiping down my shopping carts with those handy sanitizing wipes–something I’ve never done. I was trying not to touch my face. Why? Because I was suddenly aware that germs and viruses were all around me. I was surrounded!!!! Yet, Contagion was strangely unsuspenseful and unemotional for me.
Steven Soderbergh is a gifted storyteller. He is hit and miss with me, but I can not deny his talent. Soderbergh has created a tense, realistic story about a pandemic that just happens to be lacking in human connection. There are too many characters and storylines–some that are abrupt and unfinished–and though it is well acted, you are unable to form any emotional attachments. Yeah, it sucks that virus is wiping out humanity, but I should care about some of the humans being wiped out, right?
As stated, the cast is great. All fine actors. But none of them are on-screen long enough to make any kind of impression. So, what you are left with is an interesting tale about how a virus could kill us all!! It is scary, but not terrifying. And by the way, I did love all the science geeky stuff (which I wish there was more of).
The movie that Contagion most compares to is Outbreak. And although Outbreak tends towards the Hollywood-version of viruses gone amuck, by keeping it centered around a small town and only a handful of characters, it is more successful in generating a connection and therefore creating a more satisfying movie experience.
At the end, I walked out thinking that it is amazing that there are doctors and scientists that deal with this stuff on a daily basis–all I want to say is thanks guys! Thanks for keeping us safe. And I will still try not touch my face!