Movie Review: Contagion (2011)

In Contagion, there is a novel virus spreading from Asia. It is partially sourced from bats, and it jumps to humans through improper handling of food. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. It also causes a global shut-down and the WHO cocks it up a bit. Sound familiar?

This one is like our current COVID-19 situation, but on serious steroids. Like Outbreak, the cast is A-list (Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, and so on). The big danger of this virus is the R0 factor — how many people it spreads to per infected person — and it’s mortality rate. It’s far stronger and more contagious than the current, real virus. But it’s a serious warning sign given how off-guard everyone was caught this year.

This is a good movie, and it hits quite close to home lately: there’s a reason it’s showing up as a super popular movie on Netflix right now. It’s also eerily prescient. Being a major production, the quality is sound from start to end: the cinematography, the music and sound, the acting. Everything is as one might expect from a solid production. No complaints there.

If someone were to make a similar movie a year from now, the biggest change might be more incompetence from government officials, and perhaps a lot of potential over-steps. We’ve seen in the last few weeks that by and large a majority of Americans are well-behaved so far, but petty government officials have creeped up on our rights with serious ill-intent in some jurisdictions. Also, we’ve learned that some countries of origin won’t be cooperative at all.

So far in our plague movies, we’ve had two great ones in Outbreak and Contagion. Unlike normal, since there’s more time to be had, I’m going to keep an ongoing ranking of the movies. Outbreak is a great film, but Contagion feels far more realistic and dark.

1. Contagion
2. Outbreak

Where to next week? There’s no shortage of these movies…

Report card:
Runtime: An hour and forty-six minutes.
Acting: Great.
Effects: They don’t really do any effects.
Violence: A bit of looting and such.
Dead Townsfolk: A lot. More than Outbreak.
Revenge Kills: None.
Gun Use: Not really
Gore: Paltrow’s face is in it.
Creepy? Normally, no. But today?
Monster Type? A virus similar to COVID-19 but on steroids..
Monster Ick Factor: It’s efficiency.
Funny? Not really, but it’s not trying to be.
Nudity: No.
Pet Death: Not directly.
Pacing: Pretty solid.