HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Outbreak Coughs And Sneezes Spread Diseases
Year: 1995
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr, Donald Sutherland, Patrick Dempsey, Zakes Mokae, Malick Bowens, Susan Lee Hoffman, Benito Martinez, Dale Dye, Kara Keough, Gina Menza, Kellie Overbey, Maury Sterling, J.T. Walsh
Genre: Action, Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Back in 1967 a virus was discovered in Zaire which was far more deadly than many of the known dangerous diseases, and a solution to stop it spreading had to be found. That was why in the remote compound where the afflicted were being kept, the American military took drastic action and dropped a large bomb on the area, thereby not only killing the virus but everyone down there unlucky enough to be in the vicinity. Now, almost twenty years later, army doctor Colonel Sam Daniels (Dustin Hoffman) is working with infectious diseases, not knowing he is about to meet his match...

You know how in those movies where somebody coughs, that means they won't live past the end credits because they have some ailment sure to spell their demise? Well, Outbreak was a whole story based on that premise which saw an all star cast battling to save humanity from the so-called Motoba virus, a notion which was then quite fashionable thanks to the ebola virus being prominently featured in the news. It was one of those factors which the media would have had you believe indicated impending doom for the human race, the sort of panic that appears periodically such as Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Mad Cow Disease, falling asteroids, African killer bees, video nasties, the Tango ad, or clackers.

If you were aware of the territory then you would be able to settle down for two hours of infection-based paranoia in the manner of your traditional disaster flick of a nineteen-seventies vintage. Certainly the star power was there, and went some way to contributing to a respectable hit for director Wolfgang Petersen and his team, helping to downplay a theme that people were basically stupid and prone to making idiotic mistakes. Only one person can rise above this, and that's Sam who drags everyone up he can around him to his level thanks to his keen sense of fair play and warmth for his fellow man (and woman), although he is not without enemies, in the form of Donald Sutherland's boo-hiss general.

The way this African contagion spreads to a small town in California is somewhat convoluted to say the least, involving as it does the transportation of a cheeky monkey from Zaire all the way to America where it is monkey-napped by opportunist Patrick Dempsey who wishes to get cash for it by selling the creature to a pet shop which supplies to a private owner. When the monkey proves not to be the right gender, Dempsey releases it to the forest, but not before getting infected, and so like dominos the supporting cast topple as the nearby town is subjected to first some very bad illnesses, and next the military showing up to try and contain the outbreak before it gets out of hand.

Naturally, or unnaturally, the virus is a super sci-fi strain which none of your pathetic human medicine can tackle, and Sam is in a tricky position when he wangles his way into the town, meeting up with ex-wife Robby (Rene Russo) with whom he has just broken up. So there's a soap opera element there, but Petersen and his gang of screenwriters (many more than those who were finally credited) did their best to avoid complete corniness because the central idea tapped into very real fears of infection: cue loads of shots of people shivering uncontrollably, sweating, getting nasty rashes and the like. But what was most interesting about what they came up with for the Daniels character was that unlikely as Hoffman seemed as an action hero, they got away with it by making him a pacifist, there to save lives rather than wipe them out, so we didn't get the sight of Dustin picking up an automatic weapon and combating the bad guys that way. Not that Outbreak was anti-military, more anti the abuse of the military, pulling together a good many threads to fashion solid, thoughtful entertainment with a dose of hysteria. Music by James Newton Howard.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2307 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: