Contaminated Man (2000)

contaminatedmanposterNext up on our spring-cleaning cull* chopping block is Contaminated Man, a completely unremarkable dramatic thrillerish thing starring William Hurt and Peter Weller.

The story revolves around David Whitman (Hurt), a hazmat guy who, unfortunately for his wife and daughter, took his work home with him one day. His exposure to a certain pesticide killed both of them, and years later in Budapest he’s confronted with the spread of the illness once again. A chemical corporation was trimming some fat, and unfortunately that means Joseph Müller (Weller) loses his job of 20+ years as a security guard. This is not good news for a man whose wife just left him and took his kid with her. Needless to say, Müller is desperate – his alimony payments were his only guarantee at child visitation.

Müller heads to work to plead for his job back. He gets the brush off, and so follows a bunch of hazmat-suited men into a private room where a whole bunch of crap explodes and he is exposed to the pesticide. He is the only man to escape the carnage, and is now the so-called Contaminated Man. Whitman is on the task of cleaning up the mess and looking for Müller, who is on the way to finding his wife and kid, but a bunch of terrorist experts stand in his way. Can Whitman find Müller and give him the antidote before the terrorist experts blow everything out of proportion?


At first, I thought this movie was made after 9/11. Interestingly, it is not; it comes out just shy of a year beforehand. Either way, this sure looks like a government conspiracy flick: the terrorist team take the story of a regular, desperate guy who just wants to see his family and turn it into a potential terrorist issue. Their overreaction makes the resulting events 10 times worse than they would have been if they’d have just let Whitman do his job. That aspect of the movie is interesting, but other than that this doesn’t really have much going for it. It felt like a made-for-cable movie, and I wondered most of the time how they got Weller and Hurt to star in the damn thing. We will not be keeping this one.

*Q and I have decided it’s time for a great cull; an early spring cleaning. We have a large number of movies we have not yet seen. Are these movies any good? This is the question we are out to answer. If it’s no good, out it goes.


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