As we wade deeper and deeper into the Pandemic, it’s time to search a little deeper into a movie that might hit a shade closer to home. This week, while perusing the near endless lists of Netflix I stumbled across the movie Outbreak, all the way back from 1995, let’s have a look and see how this medical thriller holds up.

Outbreak is a 127 minute, medical thriller starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and Morgan Freeman. It was written by Laurence Dworet and Robert Roy Pool and directed by Wolfgang Petersen; a man best known for Air Force One and Troy. Outbreak follows one Colonel Dr. Sam Daniels (Hoffman) who has recently divorced his wife (Russo) who happens to work for the Center for Disease Control (CDC). He is assigned to investigate a lethal disease and reports that it is a great risk to the USA. His superior officers want to cover up the disease for use as a bio-weapon, and he must fight beside his ex-wife to keep the disease in control as it slowly spreads throughout the United States.

Yes, besides the aforementioned actors, this movie also has Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Junior and Donald Sullivan, all who put in fantastic performances, and there is even a cameo from a young Patrick Dempsey. The charisma of the actors is great, from Hoffman’s impassioned pleas to the rigid humor of Cuba Gooding Junior. The movie paces well, develops a good medical mystery and keeps you tense and on your toes throughout it.

The Bad: This is a mid-90’s movie and there are some obligatory action scenes; the helicopter use really stretches the believability of the story. The movie is at its best when the characters are in a room playing off each other. It’s at its worst when it tries to do action sequences.

Final Thoughts: This movie is a great blast from the past, and touches on some relevant topics today without being too real that it makes you uncomfortable. The 90’s effects and acting hold up well and it is a nice escape on an afternoon with Netflix, certainly worth a rewatch, in my opinion.

This movie gets four out of five infected monkeys.


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