Outbreak (1995)

Outbreak (1995)
  • Time: 125 min
  • Genre: Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman


When a disease in Africa is discovered, Colonel Sam Daniels of the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases or USAMRIID, is sent to investigate. When he reports back to his superior officer General Ford and tells him that they should put out an alert on this disease but the General that since the disease is so far away and not airborne that it can’t possibly reach the U.S. However, a monkey from that part of Africa was captured and brought to the U.S. and a man who works at the customs house took it and tried to sell it but when the person he tried to sell it to rejected it he released it. Later the man who arrived in Boston collapses and dies, Col. Daniels wants to look into it but General Ford denies his request so he turns to his ex-wife, who works at the Center for Disease Control or CDC to look into and they discover it’s the African disease but since it kills very quickly, Col. Daniels feels that it’s been contained until another outbreak!

One comment

  • Outbreak is an interesting look at dangerous deceases and presents an interesting What If-scenario that works like a well written comic book. The film has an edgy though not decisively dark and desolate look to it, but it treats the subject-matter with appropriate seriousness and doesn’t resort to cheap thrills or creating levity with comic reliefs. The films depiction of Decease Control and military efficiency is rather impressive.

    The films only downsides are the obvious solutions. Depicting the African Village being destroyed at the beginning of the film creates a plot-device that I personally considered unnecessary. Though it’s good to keep informed about what your government is up to the simple antagonising of military officers feels like a cheap move, though one which the film makers thought was somehow necessary to tell the story. The main culprit, the monkey, is revealed from the very beginning creating a rather frustrating experience for the audience who can more or less see the climax towards which the film is already headed.

    Despite its weaknesses the film does good with what it has. An excellent cast backed up by good side-role performances from such actors as Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kevin Spacey. Dustin Hoffman is the likable but firm main character faced up against Morgan Freeman and Donald Sutherland. The final climax still works visually, even if it is a little over the top.

    Outbreak is an interesting and an entertaining film at the same time, a tough balance to pull off.

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