Colonel Dr. Sam Daniels has just divorced his wife Robby Keough, who works at the CDC. Out of the blue, he is assigned by his superior General Billy Ford to investigate a lethal disease in an African village with his crew formed by the scientist Casey Schuler and Major Dr. Salt. They are impressed by the disease and Colonel Daniels reports to General Ford his findings afraid of contamination in the USA. However General Ford tells that the disease kills so fast that would never reach their country. However, an African smuggled monkey carrier of the disease is brought to USA and the customs employee Jimbo Scott unsuccessfully tries to sell the animal. He releases the monkey in the woods and spreads the disease in the beginning of an outbreak in a small town in California. Now Colonel Daniels, his ex-wife and their teams must fight the invisible enemy while Colonel Daniels discovers dark secrets from his superior General Donald McClintock.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the scenes when Colonel Daniels wears his Army uniform, he does not wear his Army headgear, even though every Army soldier knows he is required to do so. This was due to Dustin Hoffman's reluctance to wear it, as he didn't like the way he looked on-screen while wearing it. See more »
During the helicopter chase, the shadow of the filming helicopter falls briefly on the rock face. See more »
If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)
Written and Performed by Pete Droge
Courtesy of American Recordings
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
Whoever Decided To Turn This Into An Action Thriller Made The Wrong Choice
I chose to rent this on the basis of its very strong cast. Headed by Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman (who also do well) the movie also included names like Rene Russo, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Donald Sutherland. With names like that I had to assume at the very least that the performances would be strong. For the most part they were, although Sutherland came off as a little bit flat in the role of General McClintock - which I think had less to do with Sutherland and was more the result of his character being too one dimensional. Otherwise the cast was fine.
The story revolved a virus that originated in Africa in the 1960's and was finally spread to the US by an imported monkey released into the forests of California. The disease spreads as far as Boston, but is more or less contained in the small town of Cedar Creek, California. The disease is obviously a threat, and there's a race going on to find a cure for it before it spreads throughout America and maybe the world. Hoffman played Col. Daniels - an Army doctor trying to figure this out; Freeman was his friend and superior Gen. Ford.
When the focus of the movie was on the fight against the disease, this was pretty good. I might compare it a little bit to the more recently released "Contagion." The disease in that movie seemed far more threatening, but that movie got bogged down in medical jargon and turned into a lacklustre medical mystery. "Outbreak" avoided being lacklustre and didn't seem to be trying to impress anyone by using big medical terms. I found the fight against this disease more gripping than the battle in "Contagion." The two movies also share a similar plot point about the motives of the government.
Where "Outbreak" fails is at the point that it chooses to become little more than an action thriller (basically the last 30-40 minutes) which eventually gets reduced to little more than an extended helicopter chase. That was well done, but it went on far too long and after a while I just wanted to get on with the story.
It's a big problem when you find the last half hour of a movie to be rather dull. And yet, up to that point it was doing a pretty good job with its basic story, and, frankly, I enjoyed watching this more than I enjoyed watching "Contagion." (6/10)
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