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.
Communist Radicals hijack Air Force One with The U.S. President and his family on board. The Vice President negotiates from Washington D.C., while the President, a Veteran, fights to rescue the hostages on board.
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!Written by
This film won a development battle with a similar viral-outbreak thriller project at Twentieth Century Fox called "Hot Zone". That film was going to be directed by Ridley Scott and star Robert Redford and Jodie Foster, but ran into script problems that threw it off stride. When Arnold Kopelson hired Ted Tally to work on his script, he liked the results so much, that he immediately sent it out to Harrison Ford; Ford declined, but then Dustin Hoffman and Wolfgang Petersen signed on to star and direct, and Warner Brothers greenlit the film for a 1995 release. See more »
(at around 11 mins) Right before Col. Daniels gets on the C-130 transport, he is talking to Brig. Gen. Ford. As the colonel is about to board the plane, the general salutes him first, which is incorrect military protocol. The lower-ranked officer always salutes first. See more »
Chief of Staff:
Alright, alright, please. Please. The president's ETA from the East Asian Economic Summit is about 20 hours from now. He wants a recommendation by then from this group. Now, as I understand it, you want to firebomb the town of Cedar Creek, California, population 2,600, with something called a fuel air bomb, the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in our arsenal. The way it works: it explodes, sucks in all available oxygen to the core, vaporizes everything within a mile of ground zero, men, women, ...
[...] 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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