If you think Japanese films can be too slow and sentimental, skip this review. Because Pandemic, featuring yet another 'deadly disease kills millions' story, is a big letdown.
Not even the usually brilliant Satoshi Tsumabuki can salvage this disaster. Tsumabuki plays an ER doctor, Matsuoka, who sends home the first victim of an unknown disease. When the patient does return to the hospital, it's too late to save him or stop the disease spreading.
Anyone who remembers Sars knows the drill: after initial panic, the infected are quarantined and officers from the World Health Organisation arrive. Then it's down to Matsuoka to travel to a remote country, find the source of the disease and develop a vaccine.
There are some touching scenes, as when the courageous medical staff volunteer to stay behind in the hospital.
But these can't make up for the chaos elsewhere. Whether it's the hysterical people begging for treatment, or the angry villagers blaming the suspected source, the film contains far too many unnecessary details. And the exaggerated zombie scenes are just a joke.
This film drags and is not in the same league as I am Legend or 28 Days Later. Only bother if you are a Tsumabuki fan.