Contagion - the bug should have won
Oh dear. Look at this cast. It should have been brilliant. Sadly, the Torygraph summed it up when it said, this is a viral apocalypse where you wish the bug had won.
Steven Soderbergh's Contagion starts on Day 2 with Gwyneth Paltrow looking peeky. She soon deteriorates and pops it in a foaming fit. Herein starts the 'action' as the big government agencies try to trace the origins of this touch-transferring super disease.
Soderbergh, under a pseudonym, is both director and director of photography. His choices mean you're well aware of what people are touching (close ups of hands which have been coughed all over, touching the hand rails on buses, credit cards, drinking glasses, napkins, the faces of children and loved ones....) yes, we get. We touch stuff a lot, and then our faces. Good job Kate Winslet is here to make that implicit knowledge explicit. But she doesn't last and unfortunately the best actress in this star-studded cast is lost too.
Throughout the whole film I had that expectation that something was going to happen. any.minute.now. Soderbergh's clever enough to add in little snippets of thrills so you sit back comfortably back in your seat, and think, 'right, here we go'. For example - the neighbour gets shot during scenes of looting reminiscent of 28 Days later or The Road - and we think the film's going to take off. But no, it then cuts to three days later in a lab with a person in a bio chemical suit looking intently at the bug through a telescope. For ages. For no reason.
This is a slow burn rather than a hot fever of a film. There's many stories. Too many stories. There's too many interwoven tales and none with a satisfying ending or explanation of why they were there in the first place.
The big reveal at the end is a 'blink and you miss it' moment unfortunately. It would have explained Jude Law's character motivations and how that related to the wardrobe choice in his teeth.
A miserable 1 out of 5. Just watch the trailer it's more exciting. Sadly.