A pig eating a morsel off the floor as he’s being led slaughter. This simple act leads to catastrophic results. A handshake, a cough, all start what results in the international spread of a virulent virus.
Contagion focuses upon the victims and those battling the disease. There’s Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returning to Minneapolis from a business trip in Hong Kong. She suffers what she believes to be travel fatigue. Two days later, she’s dead and the doctors don’t have any answers for her husband (Matt Damon).
The U.S.’s Centers for Disease Control’s Deputy Director Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) battles the virus as well as the developing public and political hysteria. Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet) is a brave young doctor serving as the foot soldier out investigating and treating the growing number of victims. Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) of the World Health Organization leads the battle against the crisis internationally. Jude Law plays an activist blogger who claims that he has the cure and alleges a governmental cover up.
Contagion like most of the sick people in the film is Dead On Arrival. It’s depressing with no counterbalancing entertainment value. Angela’s Ashes and The Elephant Man are examples of disheartening movies that were also interesting. But watching extreme human suffering without any historical or relevant basis is an empty exercise. Also, there are so many subplots that the movie seems disjointed.
This is an impressive all star cast; however, none of their characters are particularly interesting.
Contagion gets a “B” in our Cast Diversity rating. With Laurence Fishburne in starring role and Sanaa Lathan has a substantial supporting part.
“Contagion” is rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language and is 106 minutes in length. And it is Dead On Arrival.