Outbreak (1995) – reviewed by George

If you know someone who can’t be bothered with a mask, show him or her this movie. And be sure they see the quote at the beginning.
“The single biggest threat to man’s continued dominance on the planet is the virus.” — Joshua Lederberg, Ph.D and Nobel laureate.
July 1967: Two groups of uniformed soldiers are fighting with guns and grenades.They are in the Motaba Valley in Zaire. A helicopter lands two medical guys in Haz-Mat suits, who quickly go to the camp’s hospital to collect blood samples from the sick.
Then they are shown the covered dead, whose skin looks ravaged. They leave and discuss the pros and cons of what’s about to happen.
Their helicopter departs and a regular Army plane appears in the sky. Those still healthy gather outside and wave happily. But the plane doesn’t land; it drops a small atomic bomb, sterilizing the camp and killing all those in it, sick or well.
Present Day: At the U.S. Armed Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland, we get a lesson by touring the different types of work places there.
BIOSAFETY LEVEL 1: Minimal Biohazard, Study of low-risk infectious agents: Pneumococcus, Salmonella.
BIOSAFETY LEVEL 2: Moderate Biohazard, Infectious Agents: Hepatitis, LYME Disease, Influenza.
BIOSAFETY LEVEL 3: High Biohazard, Multiple Vaccinations Required, Infectious Agents: Anthrax, Typhus, H.I.V.
BIOSAFETY LEVEL 4: Extreme Biohazard, Maximum Security, Infectious Agents: Ebola, Lassa, Hanta Viruses. Highly virulent. No known cures or vaccinations.
And the film begins.
Sam Daniels (Dustin Hoffman) is being sent to Zaire and General Ford (Morgan Freeman) tells him, “Get in, get out.” Sam goes into the cargo area of the plane and joins Major Salt (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and Casey Schuler (Kevin Spacey). The three are being coptered into Zaire in Haz-Mat gear, and despite being briefed are surprised by the number of bodies, wrapped and lying on the ground in rows.
And when they leave, the virus is with them, being carried by a stowaway monkey, which through a series of events ends up in a small town in California. The virus has mutated and is even more virulent, and Major General McClintock (Donald Sutherland) is certainly nuts enough to send in the bomb.
Well, we doubt that will happen since Sam’s wife (Rene Russo) has the virus and is super sick and confined to a hospital in the town. So the film moves from being afraid of the virus to being afraid of the General.
But the film reads differently today because of Covid-19 and we’re more leary of routes of infection than of a crazy General. And the ease of transmission is scary, and how people just don’t do what they need to do to protect their loved ones is scary, and maybe this film could change some minds. So it is Recommended.
Written by Laurence Dworet & Robert Roy Pool, Directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

This entry was posted in Movies, O, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s