DVD review: Contagion (+video)

Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow star in Contagion. Photo / Supplied
Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow star in Contagion. Photo / Supplied

If you were wondering where Hollywood's A-list actors have gone lately, it's likely they ended up in Contagion.

The Steven Soderbergh-directed film is a who's who of Hollywood, starring everyone from Matt Damon, Laurence Fishbourne and Gwyneth Paltrow to Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Bryan Cranston.

Even comedian Demitri Martin pops in for a mini cameo as a nerdy lab technician.

The film's heavy-handed message - basically an updated Outbreak that repeatedly tell viewers that we should be washing our hands more often - is delivered in a diarised format that documents the spread of an infectious and deadly disease.

But Contagion takes a different approach to similarly-themed films by following everyone involved with the spread and containment of the disease, from government and health authorities to the guy coughing next to you on the train.

As a result, it's fast-paced, a little scary and occasional heavy-handed in its emotionless delivery.

But if you get bored, you can always start a spot-the-A-lister drinking game with your flatmates.

Extras: A documentary on the film's stars and a medical journalist discussing the impact of viruses on humans, and several related features on deadly diseases.

Stars: 3/5

Watch the trailer for Contagion:

- Herald online

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