Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies later the same day. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic. Written by
To promote this film, Warner Bros. Pictures Canada built two giant Petri dishes treated with bacteria and fungi and set them in a Toronto storefront window. Over several days, the bacteria and fungi specimens grew to spell out the name of the film and form biohazard symbols. See more »
When Li Fai, the Hong Kong patient, exits the elevator on his way home, the two red Chinese characters on the wall means "the 10th floor", while the display of the elevator says it's the 9th. However, this is likely not a goof. Floor numbering has become quite confused in Hong Kong due to a combination of British numbering (ground floor -> 1st -> 2nd -> 3rd) and the Chinese system which counts the ground floor as the 1st. Also, due to other traditions in regard to the number 4, that number may be skipped when numbering the floors. See more »
I can see why some people might be a bit disappointed in this movie, because it's a pretty realistic on a pandemic, without a main heroic character or even action really. It's full dialogue-driven scenes, and most of the characters aren't really fleshed out.
I was OK with that because it's able to show the different effects of a pandemic throughout the globe instead having one or two main characters. A small Chinese village near the source of the virus tries to survive. A misguided blogger ends up inciting violence . And a recently single father tries to protect his daughter. The way the story cuts between these different story lines kept me from getting bored, and nothing that happens feels unrealistic.
So while it's a movie I don't really need to see again, it's good to experience once. It's intense while it lasts, and is a nice reminder of what could've actually happened if swine flu was actually a big deal.
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