Director Steven Soderbergh puts together an ensemble cast (Marion Cotillard, Elliott Gould, Demetri Martin, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Ehle, Enrico Colantoni) to give us his take on a worldwide pandemic that sweeps over the world in a matter of days. Sadly, it turns out he doesn’t have anything new to say. Contagion isn’t a bad film, but it’s exactly what you expect from this genre, nothing more.
Half of the film, centered around the search for the cure, plays out very much like Outbreak or The Andromeda Strain as the rest of the story centers the constant threat of violence as society self-destructs and devolves into anarchy (like The Road, 28 Days Later, or any number of post-apocalyptic films in recent years).
Not surprisingly, as the situation worsens and the body count rises society starts to crumble as violence and riots break out across the globe. As always, there are a handful of good people working diligently to save us all from the end of the world and even some (Matt Damon) immune to the disease.
The film works better than 2008’s Blindness, but other than a subplot involving a blogger (Jude Law) using the situation to his own advantage, Contagion doesn’t bring anything new to a genre we’ve seen pretty well played out in recent years. However, if you enjoy these types of bleak films watching society self-destruct under the threat of a unstoppable pathogen you’ll get what you expect.
The DVD and Blu-ray include a featurette on the making of the film and an UltraViolet Digital copy which allows owners to add the movie to Warner Bros. cloud and access it from anywhere.
[Warner Home Video, Blu-ray $29.98, DVD $29.98]