Heinz 57 to the Rescue in ‘Contagion’

I left the theater after seeing Contagion with many thoughts on my mind.   They ranged from global epidemics and government cover-ups to animal cruelty and issues of morality.  Contagion opened your eyes to all the questions regarding the BIG IF.  What IF this really happened to us?  I’m referring to a widespread, global virus epidemic, that is.  How would people act?  How would our government and many rescue agencies treat us?   Better yet, what if the medical professionals all went on strike?   I mean, let’s face it.  This is survival of the fittest.  What would you do?  And I ask you point blank…seriously, what would you do?  You have to admit, there would be chaos all around you given these circumstances explored within the 115 minute runtime of Contagion.

Believe it or not, Warner Bros. bills Contagion as an American horror/thriller film.  The movie about a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak is directed by Steven Soderbergh, and stars Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet.  By the way, I think for some reason I have a thing for Marion Cotillard, but I’m not sure yet.  Its too early to tell.  It could just be the early onset of infatuation.  Anyway, Warner Bros. has upheld their stance on billing the film as horror by stirring up the fear in the American public, no doubt with their brilliant viral marketing campaigns, but that’s a topic for another day.  I could go on and on about it here, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want me to do that.

Simply put, Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days.   That’s right.  I said days as in four, not weeks.  As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community struggles and races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself.  Hmm…see why I asked those questions now in my first paragraph?  As the virus spreads around the world, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.  Picture an almost apocalyptic environment where people fight and steal just to stay alive.   I was half expecting to see zombies popping out from behind abandoned cars, but rest assured zombie haters, that never happens here.   Maybe they will save it for the sequel 10 years later.  I mean after all, how do we know the side effects of any vaccine drug produced so quickly that’s intended to stop the spread of this epidemic?  The answer is quite simple…WE DON’T (hint…hint).

For all intents and purposes, watching Contagion was like watching an episode of the classic television drama series ER on steroids.   The problems inherent with movies like Contagion is that there’s really only one way to go.  Unless you want to leave your viewers truly depressed after walking out, and risk losing any chance of a repeat customer, then you got only one viable option.  You have to find a cure!  And once you find that, the movie is pretty much over.   There are no twists.   It’s that simple.   And wouldn’t you know it, the cure always appears so conveniently.   While I had no problem with the performances and the many subplots going on (almost like a medical version of Valentine’s Day), I really wish they had showed more detail and expose as to what went into finding that cure.   I mean they kept me there for almost 90 minutes beforehand, I think I could have gave them another 10 minutes to develop.   Come on Hollywood!   You had a 60 million dollar budget.   Give me more!   Oh well, I wasn’t expecting much.   Much like the War of the Worlds, Contagion is a mild thrill ride as we come to grip with the chaos and destruction in the world around us until that cure is “conveniently” found and everything wraps up pretty “conveniently.”   All in all, I think it’s still worth a look.   The soundtrack is darn right “infectious.”  Oh, okay, you got me.  I’m just full of puns today.  LOL.   Let me know if you get my title…after you see it, of course.   Enjoy!



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

12 Responses to “Heinz 57 to the Rescue in ‘Contagion’”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    So is this a remake of Outbreak, but without the monkey?

  2. Brian White

    It even looks like that in the poster department, huh? LOL

    It should be noted that I believe this to be the first feature film to be shot on the new Red Epic cam.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Gerard, it’s Outbreak with a brain. Not Traffic great, but Soderbergh applies the same type of formula.

    Mentioning Valentine’s Day makes me feel bad inside. 🙁

  4. Brian White

    I agree with Aaron on his first sentence. I reference Valentine’s Day only to quickly mention there are subplots here and there, but it’s nothing like VD in anyway, shape or form. It’s serious stuff G.

  5. Aaron Neuwirth

    I think you’re correct Brian, at least the first one released and shot near-entirely with it.

  6. Aaron Neuwirth

    I would just like to think you were being humorous in its use, but there are just so many similar and good films that could have been used as examples. And I’m always half kidding anyway 😉

  7. Brian White

    What did you think of DRIVE, Aaron? Loved it!

    Yes, I could have thought of a better example than VD, but I’m a funny guy, remember? Or at least I try to be.

    I could not find rock solid evidence of the Red so that’s why I did not include it as a fact in my review.

  8. Aaron Neuwirth

    I see Drive next week (can’t wait)
    Straw Dogs is tonight (…meh)

  9. Brian White

    Aw…I’m missing STRAW DOGS next week 🙁 I want to see it bad!

    You are in for a treat with DRIVE.

  10. Aaron Neuwirth

    Why Straw Dogs? (I would respond the same way, even if I haven’t already seen the film)

  11. Brian White

    I love me a good revenge come from behind underdog story, Aaron. Straw Dogs looks like it might have all that for me. At least I’m hoping.

  12. Aaron Neuwirth

    Watch the original, at least it had a purpose when it came out…