Watched Sep 22, 2012
Cramer K.’s review:
I'm not really sure what Soderbergh was trying to pull off here, because "Contagion" is too lifeless to be a disaster movie and too generic to be an art movie. It exists in this weird no-man's land where its only effect is to be completely unaffecting. Sure, it's full of sound and fury (an all-star cast! a horrible event that could actually happen! government agencies and terrorists and conspiracy nutjobs!) but it all signifies nothing. The plot just kind of meanders for long stretches until the weird video-game-like score kicks in and then suddenly EVERYTHING FEELS SO IMPORTANT until the scene's over and nothing really feels important again.
Notice how I'm not really going into specifics about why the film doesn't work? Well, that's because I can only remember "Contagion" in the most general sense, so weak was its impact on me. There are so many characters spread across so many locales and they all just kind of cancel each other out. Apart from one truly moving shot of Kate Winslet, and the bit about Gwyneth Paltrow bringing civilization to the brink of destruction, I will remember the sandwich that I ate for lunch today far, far longer than I will remember anything about "Contagion."
Oh, and John Hawkes. I remember him, too. It's always nice to see John Hawkes getting work. Yep. Good ol' John Hawkes.