Even with bans against slobs eating on public transportation, spitting fines, and employees must wash hands signs, we’ve seen plenty of deadly epidemics in our world’s history – everything from the Bubonic Plague to Taco Bell’s E. coli and Bieber Fever. I’m nagged daily on my germaphobia, if not with a lecture on weakening my immunity, then with a look like I’m a freak for protecting a hand with my sleeve around door knobs or train poles. So to all my touchy-feely friends, sorry if my hugs seem like I’m wearing a surgical mask but after seeing Contagion you might finally get it. I’m sure it won’t be long until we see “pass the Purell” in the American lexicon as Sodergbergh rounds up more A-list actors than Robert Altman, utilizing intercutting stories and subplots in this global pandemic flick (making Nashville look like a family picnic!).
Before Kate Winslet has a chance to get naked she plays doctor specializing in epidemic cures and we are on edge (trying to ignore the mouth breather sitting next to us and biochem Demitri Martin) with our infected cast, and dead Gwen lying on a autopsy table with her head sliced open and forehead peeled back, and Matt Damon, demanding to know “What happened to her!!?”….”What happened to her!!!?” He and the rest of the world sure manage to keep their heads on straight, not dropping one cuss word when I would be losing my fucking shit!! Meanwhile, back at the laboratory, biologists, the CIA, Homeland Security, and Elliot Gould all work to find a vaccine – spearheaded by Dr. Fishburne as Jude Law shows the power of a video blog vs. the printed media, accusing the Government for lying to the public and insinuating a massive conspiracy perpetuated by the pharmaceutical companies. Perhaps I too should wear a snaggle tooth to get some more subscribers? But as lab-coats get lost in a game of ring around the rosy with accusations against Fishburne for secretly advising his chick over the general public to leave the cootie zone, the story forgets all it’s compelling premises and angles; Damon’s immunization, biological warfare, nefarious plots of genocide, and literally turns to some batshit crazy excuse.
Sucks Bryan Cranston didn’t have his Breaking Bad chemistry set. Thankfully Soderbergh’s eye paired with Stephen Mirrione editing move us through these pending plots with a spooky pulsating electronic score to keep us on pace and at least raise the question and possible scenarios in this day and age how the panic of the people will play out. But unfortunately Contagion’s characters are unfulfilled even with a vaccine shot up there nose. But what really left me hanging was the Doctor’s reaction to whatever the fuck was inside Gwen’s head?…Bedbugs?