Bluray review: Contagion

17:00, Apr 10 2012
TOO MANY FACES? Contagion proves that even the greats have an off-day every now and then.

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne

Is there a point at which a film can be bogged down by the number of famous faces involved?

Steven Soderbergh certainly tries to find out with Contagion, in which major stars like Matt Damon, Jude Law and Kate Winslet play against type in service of a story that has been done a million times before.

But the star power isn't limited to the main roles: recognisable faces like Gwyneth Paltrow, Elliott Gould, Bryan Cranston, Demetri Martin, Sanaa Lathan and Jennifer Ehle are all part of the cast, despite spending only a few minutes each on screen.

The appearance of so many familiar faces gets to the point where you spend the majority of the film mumbling "oh, it's that guy from Breaking Bad" or "hey, it's that girl from Sense & Sensibility" under your breath.

Although we should probably be viewing Contagion's Spot The Famous Person game as a welcome distraction from an otherwise forgettable film. Soderbergh has done little to distinguish this film from the myriad other "killer virus wipes out humanity" movies that pop up every couple of years.

If you've seen one, you've seen them all - the virus starts small, spreads suddenly and proves hard to contain, the army steps in to quarantine a small American town ... its film-making courtesy of a paint-by-numbers mentality, the biggest achievement of which is the fact that so many A-list stars were interested in being part of it.

Steven Soderbergh is celebrated as one of the great directors of recent times. Contagion proves that even the greats have an off-day every now and then.

Special Features include: The Reality of Contagion featurette; The Contagion Detectives featurette; and Contagion: How A Virus Changes The World featurette.