(12A) 106mins

Wednesday, 26th October 2011, 10:16 am

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Marion Cottillard, Kate Winslet

WITH a cast that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood, you’d expect this film to be exceptional. It’s good, but it could have been better.

There’s a definite documentary feel about the movie as we have captions telling us how many days we are into the outbreak and which USA agency we are dealing with.

But I was left a bit disappointed.

With millions dying, the audience is left to concentrate on the outcome of a bunch of people, some of whom I wasn’t that bothered if they made it to the credits.

Maybe there were too many strands to the story and focusing on a single character might have been better.

The story starts with the virus spreading around the world from person to person.

Attempting to track down its source and find a cure are various specialists played by messrs Fishburne, Cottilard and Winslet... and Elliott Gould making a cameo appearance.

Then there are the ‘human interest’ stories, separate from the scientists and their concerns, with Damon and Paltrow, while Jude Law is a blogger who might have found a cure, but then again might not have.

With so many stars you would expect some pretty decent acting and there’s no denying Kate Winslet, Matt Damon and Marion Cottillard give it their best.

In fact, the cast create a very real atmosphere of dread and panic as the virus takes a firm grip.

The whole direction and some excellent music make this a tense thriller that doesn’t really take its foot off the pedal.

And while there’s nothing really wrong with the film, I just felt it was a slightly wasted opportunity.

three out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley