Outbreak (1995)

This animal carries a deadly virus... and the greatest medical crisis in the world is about to happen.

A deadly airborne virus finds its way into the USA and starts killing off people at an epidemic rate. Col Sam Daniels' job is to stop the virus spreading from a small town, which must be quarantined, and to prevent an over reaction by the White House.

***Scarier than any horror flick — and ultra-suspenseful***
After a deadly incurable African virus is brought to a Northern California coastal town via a monkey the military moves in to quarantine the village. While Dustin Hoffman seeks to find an antidote, the two generals in charge of the quarantine (Morgan Freeman & Donald Sutherland) strangely decide to annihilate the town. Can Hoffman find a cure in time? And, even if he does, can he stop the firebombing?
Wolfgang Petersen's "Outbreak" (1995) is an outstanding drama/thriller, which I suppose you could designate as a disaster flick. Although viruses are so small they're invisible, they have the potential to be the biggest monsters of all. Certain deadly viruses, if let loose, can wipe out an entire town in a couple days. This is the scenario in "Outbreak." It COULD happen and is therefore realistic, which naturally makes the story more horrifying than most horror flicks or monster movies.
But "Outbreak" is more than just a scary what-if story, the second half involves a military cover-up and is edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, all the way to the final minutes. It's like an avalanche that slowly builds momentum.
Cuba Gooding Jr. is also on hand in a significant role as Hoffman's partner in the race-against-time. And, for those who care, there's a romantic subplot about Hoffman’s character and his ex-wife, played by Rene Russo. Will they get back together?
The locations are magnificent, filmed in the coastal towns Eureka, Arcata and Ferndale, California, all in the extreme Northern part of the state, just south of the Redwoods and West of Bigfoot territory (i.e. Willow Creek). The African sequences were shot in Hawaii.
BOTTOM LINE: This is top-of-the-line cinema — equal parts scary, dramatic and suspenseful.
The film runs 2 hours, 7 minutes.
GRADE: A-

Kopelson Entertainment, Arnold Kopelson Productions, Punch Productions, Warner Bros. Pictures by Wolfgang Petersen, Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool.
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey.

Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller

Keywords: river general research army serum monkey epidemic medical research

03/10/1995

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