Film Review: Contagion [dir. Steven Soderbergh; 2011]
Soderbergh's movies tend to be so slick and stylised, that they often convince you they'll be memorable whilst you're actually watching them. But as the days after the initial viewing pass, you realise that they've left you with little more than a sense of... well, slickness and stylishness. Contagion is a case in point. It's a brisk, confident, thoroughly gripping story of the consequences of the spread of a deadly form of swine flu. It features solid performances, particularly from Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburne. Its plot develops in a wholly plausible manner. And most commendably, it underplays the hysterics that one might expect in such pre-apocalyptic tales (shots of lawless mobs are kept to a minimum). But somehow, it never leaps into the realms of greatness. That said, it's more intelligent and enjoyable than most of the popcorn fodder clogging up our multiplexes.