Archive: Outbreak (1995) A Review

It’s always been a favourite of mine, and when better to watch it then right now.  In the middle of a Global Pandemic.  Yeah, maybe not my smartest choice.

Certificate: 15

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Screenwriter: Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman

Genre: Action, Drama

Runtime: 127 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

This used to be one of those films that did the rounds on TV all the time and is one I can remember watching countless times over the years.  It may not of exactly aged well, but right now, where we are constantly criticising the work of our world leaders during a time of Pandemic, it does have a weird kind of relevance.  And it is sort of still really entertaining.

In the 1970s a camp of US soldiers are bombed by their own country in order to hide a fatal virus that kills anyone infected by it.  Twenty years later, the virus re-emerges and infects the population of a small American town.  Military doctor Sam Daniels is sent in to get the virus under control.  When he fails to do that, and the infection threatens the safety of the rest of the country, he has to rush again time to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself and another bomb isn’t dropped.

If you are struggling with virus anxiety, as a lot of people are right now, this may not be a great time for you to watch this film, a lot of it is completely fanciful and unrealistic, but right now of course there will be similarities that no-one really thought would ever happen.  Rest assured I am pretty sure no one is going to start dropping nukes any time soon, but it does have a lot to say about the current situation.  It may not be as realistic and comparable as ‘Contagion’ but it does still call into question the actions of those in charge and how far they would be willing to go to stop the spread of a deadly disease. 

Dustin Hoffman does a great job as Sam Daniels.  A little more action hero then I am used to seeing him, he plays the role of the rebellious military officer well.  A lot of his dialogue is incredibly over dramatic, but it does give me a good laugh, even when it isn’t necessarily meant to be funny.  The cast for this film is stacked with famous names and faces.  You can’t throw a stick without hitting a notable actor in this film and they all come together to make something pretty entertaining.

But it does suffer with a bit of a case of the 90s.  The explosions are overdone, the action is very over the top, the dialogue is over dramatic, and while this does a lot to show the films age, if you can get over that, it is just a very enjoyable disaster film, with a plot that you can predict right down to the last minute.

Take care everyone, stay safe and enjoy your films from the comfort of your own homes.

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