“Contagion” plot lacks originality

September 29, 2011 • Tyler Grant  
Filed under Student Life

The movie “Contagion,” featuring names such as Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law, was a redundant story told one too many times. The performance of each actor was typical.

Matt Damon, teamed up with director Steven Soderbergh for the fifth time (also having acted in “The Informant” and the “Ocean’s” trilogy,) to play a simple man who goes about his life in a normal everyday fashion when all he loves is lost. Soderbergh is a monster name in the film industry, having accomplished acclaimed works including “A Scanner Darkly,” “Michael Clayton” and the “Ocean’s” trilogy.

One would suspect Damon to play the leading role of such a film, but this is not true for “Contagion.”

With a cast of so many large and famous names, it is difficult to design a script large enough to accommodate the appropriate amount of face time for each actor/actress.

Damon wasn’t the only one whose performance was a miss. Law and Fishburne were featured primarily in the plot, but their roles were limited to short scenes with minimal plot advancement. Paltrow also went unattended to; she served as the smallest role in the show, offering only a few scenes to the audience.

The theme of the film “Contagion” was one that has been arguably overdone. The simple plot behind it: Mutating virus causes mass death and destruction.

As is usually the case with these types of films, the theme was kept close to home, geographically. There were a few scenes filmed in a desolate village, but it was apparent filmmaker and director Steven Soderbergh wanted to keep the audiences focus on the impact the virus had on the United States.

Because it was maxed out to the limit in Blockbuster names, one would expect such an accomplished director to achieve a higher standard of film than “Contagion.”

If you’re looking for a good time-killer with well-known names on the screen, “Contagion” is the right movie for you. But, If you’re looking for an Academy Award-winning, heartbreaking, breathtaking, film-of-the-year, I would recommend saving your billfold’s contents for another time.

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