Sunday, January 29, 2012

Movie Review: Contagion


Last night, after weeks of extreme patience, I gave in to the temptation. Instead of spending $8+ at the movie theater, I decided to stay at home and catch the movie Contagion on YouTube. While I said that I'd never spend that kind of money on a movie I can get for a $1, I spent it. Why? you ask. Because I couldn't get it for a dollar. For whatever reason, Redbox hasn't released it yet.

So, after all the kids were in bed and my adhoc planning meeting for the upcoming Ignite Raleigh 3 event came to a close, I purchased the movie for 24 hours.

While I had every intention of finishing the flick last night, it didn't actually happen that way. Somewhere between minute 20 and 25, I began counting sheep. Thankfully, I had time to finish in the morning.

For those that have no clue what I'm talking about, let me give you a quick summary. Contagion is a movie about what life would be like if the planet contracted a deadly virus and we had no known cure.

The movie begins with a woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) that falls ill with flu like symptoms. Quickly, the virus attacks the body and causes severe seizures, headaches, and difficulty breathing. When she dies, the doctors cannot explain the cause or cure. Her husband, played by Matt Damon, has to pick up the pieces and keep the rest of the family safe during a turbulent time.

In another part of the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) monitor a growing concern from reports of similar cases. As quickly as the illness hits, the world's population falls victim to its fatal effects. With no answers, people continue to die.

The movie tells a good story. How would we react in a similar situation? My guess is that we'd probably do exactly what transpired on the screen, and that is to fight for survival. On a local level, people would raid grocery stores and loot homes. We've already seen this type of behavior during the Katrina aftermath.

On the larger scale, we see how the world governments might handle the situation. Can I just say that it's scary to think how fragile we humans really are. Similar to a thrilling episode of 24, we see that the fate of our nation rests with the success of one man, Jack Bauer. In this movie, the world depends on a few healthy scientists racing against time. We see a similar situation in The Walking Dead. I'll just leave it at that.

Overall, I liked the movie. I felt an overwhelming appreciation for the current state of affairs and the fact that we're not fighting such a virus, at least to the best of my knowledge. Maybe I'll buy an extra bottle of sanitizer during my next trip to the grocery store.

On a scale of 1-5, with five being the best, I'd give Contagion 4 stars. The movie was worth the price of admission and I'd recommend it for viewing. It's not one that I'd watch again, but that shouldn't take anything away from the film. For me, watching the effects of a seriously contagious virus spread across the world is enough for one viewing. Enjoy!

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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