Outbreak Dustin Hoffman, Renee Russo, Donald Sutherland, Morgan Freeman: Director: Wolfgang Peterson a jpoc movie review

Much better than the average thriller.

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Five out of ten.

I first saw this film at the cinema in Konstanz on one of their occasional "Wir learnen English" sessions.

My review

Somewhere, in Hollywood, there is a man who gets paid to read the popular science books & magazines in the search for ideas. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it means that we do get to see more original films and fewer second, or third time around remakes.

The subject of this film is the emergence of a new virus and the attempts of the authorities to deal with it.Col. Sam Daniels (Dustin Hoffman) is a maverick virus hunter working for the US military His ex-wife Robby (Renee Russo) is his opposite number at the CDC. When a small town on the west coast is struck by a virus "worse than Ebola" they end up working together again.

They find themselves fighting not just the virus but a high level conspiracy in the military that would rather sacrifice the town than expose its own illegal activities.

The film rises above the standard thriller/disaster fare largely because of strong performances by the leading actors. Hoffman especially really does a good job. He does have a great script and a good part to work with but his character really gets the audience onside and you an really believe that this character wants to defeat the virus.

The film is not without faults. A few lapses of science are inevitable but worse are the two generals (Sutherland & Freeman) involved in the cover-up. Donald Sutherland is certainly a better actor than he appears here. He is basically never given the opportunity to portray his character as anything other than a hollow shell as the necessary bad guy. The film would have been a lot more convincing had it been able to portray these two as convincing bad guys.