Outbreak (1995)

(Last Updated On: April 5, 2020)

Outbreak (1995)

Title:  Outbreak

Year: 1995

Genre:  Action | Drama | Thriller|

Runtime: 127 min

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey


Army doctors struggle to find a cure for a deadly virus spreading throughout a California town that was brought to America by an African monkey.


With a decent solid cast that could be brought a distinctive level of the amount of stigma this kind of story needed, it’s just too joyful. It’s labelled as action-filled drama-thriller but the sensitive grasp it offers doesn’t make an impact. It doesn’t get to the audience as this cheerful tone doesn’t make sense in an eruptive world, depending on doctors, experts and military. Not to mention the politician.

Dustin Hoffman in the lead as an army doctor could feel like a safe card, as he’s a good actor but he’s truly miscast for this kind of film. His role as Sam Daniels, the saviour of the film, doesn’t need to have an ongoing divorce at the same time. It provides more likely to implode with the genre-mix up this film has. In this way, the rom-com elements distract from the dramatic moments. And it doesn’t help either that this man is also too old for the role.

Morgan Freeman has a gentler way to handle things. He can make most thing relatable and doesn’t need that much screen time for it. He doesn’t need that much screen time and in his role as General Billy Ford, he’s a supporting character that has an evolving arc that results that a town won’t be attacked through a nuclear attack. He has charm but it doesn’t fit the genre of the film. Overall, his supporting character works but otherwise?

No, this is a movie where most of the cast doesn’t know how to handle the script or the direction. Most of the characters. The main character that the audience is supposed to connect with doesn’t apply anything new. No, not really.

Even if it has a well-worth cast, it doesn’t have the tone regarding the overwhelming plot and the direction shifting between a romantic comedy and a thriller is failing. The direction of Wolfgang Petersen is sprawling throughout the film and it ruins the potential this simplistic story could have had. Now, Petersen is a 2 Oscars-nominated director and worked with several praised actor but something in this movie doesn’t work. Its major conflict is the genre-mix that doesn’t go away and the over-aged cast that doesn’t feel attached to their character. At least in a way that is interesting enough to follow each one individual.

Maybe one. Kevin Spacey, as Casey Schuler, brings a different performance than the rest, even if maybe is just his character but he’s one of the top performers here. The music is underwhelming at some points of the film and the dialogue is rather choppy. The realism doesn’t go a little overboard for this film, as the plot evolves to something overwhelming and impractical. However, the movie overall is entertaining. Especially if you use it for casual viewing during a hangover. There’s no need really to engage in the plot because you initially that the film will resolve itself and people won’t die.


Grade 2 of 5




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