Contagion: Nothing Spreads Like Fear

Contagion is quite a different movie than The Change-Up. On the surface, this movie looks like a home run. This story of a deadly virus outbreak features an all-star cast (Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet) and a big name director (Steven Soderbergh) at the helm. Like Winslet’s character, let’s do some forensic work, shall we?

Same Story, Different Results

Hearing about the plot, I couldn’t help but think of 28 Days Later. If you forgot, this movie was about a rage virus that hit London. The movie follows a few survivors and their fight to stay alive. This was a very gory, R-rated, horror movie. But it was very well done and memorable. Contagion pales in comparison. The mystery of how the virus started was interesting, but because 28 Days Later was seared into my brain, this P-13 redo had no chance.

All-Star Cast

Like I mentioned before, this was a who’s who of big name actors. Ironically, most performances fell short as I kept thinking “Wow, look at that big name, they probably could have got a lesser name actor for cheaper.” This cast reminds me of the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe, Shaq, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton. More recently, just look at the Miami Heat with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. A cast of All-Stars doesn’t guarantee a championship and the same thing applies to movies.

One Exception

Jude Law was terrific as a popular blogger who gains more fame and power during the crisis. As the government tries to solve the epidemic, he adds fuel to the fire by causing panic while searching for the truth and his own personal gain. He played the guy you love to hate with aplomb. Is this art imitating life?

Final Thoughts

Like I said before, a big name director and cast doesn’t always translate to a mega blockbuster. Just like in basketball, a superstar or two surrounded by role players is the best formula in my mind. Contagion does make us more aware of being hygienic and what could be a very grim future. As for watching the movie itself, I would stay away from it like the plague.

Can you think of a mega blockbuster that did have a big name director and an all-star cast? What was it?

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35 Responses

  1. Allen says:

    Thanks for the review.
    “Wow, look at that big name, they probably could have got a lesser name actor for cheaper.” Personally I try to not to have such thoughts, they make me enjoy the movie less. The quality of the movie is not dependent on how much or little money they spend on it, so it’s better to not let that factor in at all.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Great point. Reflecting I was selling the movie short already. Also with such a stellar cast I had higher expectations. Like I mentioned earlier this movie didn’t stand a chance. Ironically with a no name cast I might have enjoyed the movie more. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hunter says:

    Thanks, you saved the price of a ticket & a coke. The trailer does look intriguing but I have plenty of other things to do this weekend anyway.

  3. krantcents says:

    Thanks, I think I will skip this one. I find I am seeing a lot less movies lately. My next one is Moneyball. Do you plan on reviewing that?

  4. MoneyCone says:

    I saw the trailer and kept thinking I should check this out (this and Return of the Apes).

    I think I’ll wait for the latter! The trailer did look promising though!

  5. My husband mentioned he wanted to see this. There have been so many in this genre, but I’d heard it did well at Cannes. Now I have something to tell him so we won’t have to go. I’m just not in the mood for another disaster movie. Thanks BCM!

  6. You did me an obvious favor, valuable time if my wife tells me to watch this, I will pass easily.

  7. Hunter says:

    I think you have just earned a new nickname…Comedy Master! Naaah, we can do better than that.

  8. Doctor Stock says:

    On occasion, I wait for the DVD to come out before seeing the movie… with this one, based on what you’ve said, I’ll just skip it there too! Thanks.

  9. Lea G says:

    hey this seems to be a more kind of fiction movie that is been awaited for along time I really want to watch this movie to make my week more exciting. i shall surely buy this DVD or rather I shall watch this online.

  10. Reminds me of the stock market. Nothing spreads faster than fear.

  11. OK, Buck:

    3 Personal Finance bloggers walk into a bar. The first one says let’s order food; it’s my birthday and I get mine free. The second one says, put it on my credit card because I get 5% back this month. The third one says, great, I’ll leave the tip. When they leave the waiter finds a piece of paper on the table next to the receipt. It says, “Buy dividend-paying stocks in this market.”

  12. Untemplater says:

    Definitely not a movie I’d go to see in the theater. It is scary to think about the possibility of an outbreak happening in real life. Hopefully we’ll never have to go through something like that! -Sydney

  1. September 11, 2011

    […] Buck Inspire reviews this weekends big hopeful movie launch: Contagion: Nothing Spreads Like Fear […]

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