Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.
In July of 1967, In Motaba River Valley, Zaire, a virus with a 100% mortality rate starts infecting people. The virus becomes known as the Motaba virus, and it's so deadly that it causes severe bleeding and liquefies internal organs, killing within 3 days. The virus wipes out Motaba River Valley, and a devastatingly huge fire bomb is dropped onto Motaba River Valley in order to reduce the chances of further infection. The bomb was dropped on the orders of corrupt General Donald McClintock, even though an army surgeon, General Bill Ford, was against the idea. 27 years later, in 1994, there is another outbreak in Motaba River Valley. At the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), located at Fort Detrick in Maryland, Colonel Sam Daniels is doing research on the Motaba virus, and so is his ex-wife Roberta Keough, who works at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. A monkey carrying the Motaba virus stows away on a ... Written by
(at around 26 mins) In the film, it is said that "Motaba" was more deadly than the "Ebola" virus. Then they show a picture of the "Motaba" virus. The virus shown in the photograph, is a strain of Ebola. See more »
Hospital HVAC Systems are supposed to be designed to not recirculate air from
room to room. The ideal design is so that patients who walk in with broken arms do not walk out with other maladies. However, many hospital HVAC systems are not correctly maintained, and others are not correctly designed - some/many have exam rooms that share air. So when the virus in the movie mutates and is air born, it could be spread by the HVAC System especially in a community hospital that isn't geared up for contagious diseases. In fact, the Llassa fever virus was spread exactly this way in a major US east coast medical center. One person, a tech working on a non-patient floor, contracted the virus even though extreme containment procedures were thought to be in place - the HVAC system was assumed to be the pathway. See more »
Columbia outbid Warner Brothers for the film rights to the non-fiction book "The Hot Zone", and got to work on a script entitled, "Crisis in the Hot Zone". Warner Brothers shrugged its shoulders and decided to make a competing killer disease film NOT based on the book; and so they got together a script, director and cast as quickly as possible in the hopes of getting "Outbreak" to cinema screens first. After a brief tussle Columbia realised the fight wasn't worth it, and backed out. "Crisis in the Hot Zone" was never made.
Probably a pity, for "Outbreak" shows every sign of being conceived in haste. For a film about one of the most terrifying scenarios available - the new Black Death - it's surprisingly unfrightening. Try to remain calm, is the tag-line. You won't have to try very hard.
The screenwriters - and let's not blame them, since I suspect that they had but a single weekend in which to write it all - sprinkle the film with tiresome clichés I won't bother to mention - not that this matters very much. The real problem is that things are done just too easily. By the end of the film Dustin Hoffman is leaping tall buildings in a single bound - which just makes us feel that the buildings couldn't have been so high, after all.
(A side point: why, yet again, is the United States the only thing that matters? The same new killer virus is already on the loose in Africa and could strike without warning elsewhere - why doesn't this worry anyone?)
Basically this is another movie killed by undue haste. The director does his job reasonably well, the dialogue is uninspired but not clunky, and Dustin Hoffman has enough charisma to keep us interested in his character, at any rate. It's not really a bad movie. But Warner Brothers has slapped up any old thing and called it a taut thriller - and it certainly isn't that.
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