Writing in The Washington Times, Reason Associate Editor Peter Suderman reviews director Steven Soderbergh's new infectious-disease thriller, Contagion:
"Contagion" ought to come with a warning: Bring a handkerchief. While you're at it, bring a bottle of disinfectant, sterilized gloves, a face mask — and, if theater management will let you, a sealed containment suit too.
You'll certainly want them by the time the movie is over.
Director Steven Soderbergh's latest outing is a globe-spanning horror-thriller designed to do for infectious disease outbreaks what "Jaws" did for sharks. The crucial difference is that avoiding sharks is relatively easy; all you have to do is stay out of the water.
"Contagion" is a subtler film. Like "Traffic," Mr. Soderbergh's Oscar-winning movie about the drug war, it's more of a prismatic procedural and less of an action-filled adventure.
But in its own small way, it is far more fearsome than any cinematic sea monster: How do you avoid an enemy that lurks invisibly on the surface of every coffee mug, credit card, countertop and subway handhold — not to mention the skin and breath of every person, friend or stranger, you encounter?