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'Contagion' is harrowing; lacks heart

Showtime with Sasha

POSTED: March 27, 2012 3:12 p.m.

'Contagion' speculates what would happen if a virulent, deadly disease swept around the world.

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With “Contagion,” I expected an enjoyable film much like my favorite disease-related disaster film, “Outbreak,” but perhaps more harrowing.
This new picture indeed was scarier and garnered many gasps from me as I watched — but that doesn’t mean it was better.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, “Contagion” boasts an all-star cast. Parts of the film are fast-paced and tense with a driving soundtrack, as a few people with coughs turn into the most frightening epidemic ever. However, some scenes slow way down.
What I liked about “Contagion” was its ability to spotlight many different people and the believability with which it went from a dramatic film into the realm of horror and science fiction. That’s no easy feat. Pictures like “2012” and “I Am Legend” lose genuineness simply because of their far-out premises. “Contagion” keeps its realism all of the way through.
Regardless, I have to take a jab at Soderbergh. I recently reviewed “Haywire” and said it lacked heart. “Contagion” is the same. Something definitely is missing from this film. The absence is so acute that by the end of movie you wonder what the point was. I could argue that the heartlessness of the movie mirrors the ambivalence of a disease, which seeks victims without bias, but I’m too disappointed to do so. I’m not a fan.

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