Thursday, March 29, 2012
One Minute Movie Review: Contagion
Steven Soderbergh (best know for his Oscar win for Traffic) brings us the Andromeda Strain for the next generation. An extremely cerebral film, well crafted and realistic, but lacking the emotional depth from his cast required to make a real connection with the audience. Although the picture has all the proper mechanics and effortless fluidity, the actors seem to float through the story rather than engaging the viewer with any authentic compassion or drama. It feels like a superior documentary, cold, calculated, and void of personality. Matt Damon stars as a man thrust into chaos after the death of his wife and step son without demonstrating that it has any real effect on him. He is stoic to a point of statuesque even when he discovers his recently deceased spouse had a torrid affair with another man. His portrayal is two dimensional at best. Paltrow plays said wife in such a matter of fact manner it borders on boring. Her flashbacks feel more like a reality show reenactment than anything else. Fishbourne provides a strong but overtly subtle performance that lacks the appropriate humanity. The rest of the ensemble fairs no better. Scientifically and analytically speaking the movie is one of the best in its genre, dramatically it is one of the worst. To compare it to its closest competitor, Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, this film had all the right components and storyline but lacked the emotional fervor and character chemistry of its rival. Still a decent film too bad it never reached its full potential. 3 out of 5 Kernels, A for substance, D for style.