Here’s some well directed advice: If you have been diagnosed with OCD, or are a certified germaphobe, don’t see this movie. Just skip it. You’ll thank me for saving you from a complete and utter mental breakdown.
And, if you feel that you have any sort of OCD “tendencies”, be warned that this film will most likely nudge you right over that little precipice.
THE GOOD: There’s nothing like a “worldwide epidemic with no cure” idea to fuel your fears — and this movie does exactly that. For an almost 2 hour span, we follow the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. But it’s not just the mind boggling number of people dying that grabs your attention in this movie–it’s the panic that ensues. Imagine the desperation of grieving family members who can’t even hold funeral services for their deceased loved ones because the funeral homes are refusing to accept the infected bodies. Or the added fear that, although you are trying to keep yourself quarantined to your home so you don’t catch it, people who are desperate for food -the shelves at the stores are running dry once everyone realizes the enormity of the situation-are breaking into homes and taking things by force. It makes a great argument for being a gun owner. There is just so much chaos that it almost leaves you feeling as though the people who die are actually the LUCKY ones. And let me just add here that there truly wasn’t one moment of bad acting, due to the stellar cast which includes people like Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, and my personal favorite: Jude Law. It is a flat out smart and scary film that does justice to the possibility of a global outbreak of something unknown and untreatable, and focuses not only on the dead, but the enormous challenges for the living.
THE BAD: As much as I have to praise this film for its realistic portrayal of something so frightening, I WOULD like to know who the genius was that suggested that this movie be released as we are coming head on into Flu season—are you kidding me? Lambingan I was dousing myself with hand sanitizer throughout the entire movie, and when someone in the movie theater began coughing, I almost yelled out “that’s not funny!” As if people aren’t paranoid enough about the Bird and Swine Flu going around, the movie industry decided that September would be a FANTASTIC time to release this film. Pot-stirrers.
THE UGLY: Early on in the movie there is a REALLY graphic autopsy scene that involves a person’s head being buzz sawed open and the face being flopped forward. My two movie companions were close to dry heaving and I was curled up in the fetal position. SWEET MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS RIGHT AND GOOD. You can’t un-see that. And speaking of things no one wants to see: what was the deal with making Jude Law have Billy Bob Hillbilly teeth?? Apparently they were afraid that people would only remember him for winning sexiest man of the year award back in 2004 and not take him seriously as a freelance reporter that was researching a cure for the disease. Problem solved, let’s just give him buck teeth. It was like a train wreck, I couldn’t stop staring at them.