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"Outbreak": Film Review

Updated on March 31, 2020
Dean Howard profile image

Dean is a new online writer. He usually writes movie and music reviews.

"Outbreak" is one of the films that Americans are wanting to watch right now. The coronavirus has sent us wanting to watch movies that focus on a deadly virus. This film is a good one to watch if you want to become skeptical about everything happening in the world.

The virus in "Outbreak" has gross effects on the people where they have blood coming out of body parts. However, the way it spreads so fast and not knowing who has it is very similar to what is occurring with COVID-19.

The film itself is eye-opening. It is a movie that is not categorized as a horror film but could be in today's time due to the parallels in the world. The film shows how fast a virus can spread and the after-effects of it taking over. It makes you want to stay at home and away from people.

Wolfgang Petersen directs the film. There is no surprise to say that he does incredible in that aspect of the film. He directs such films as "Troy" (2004), "Air Force One" (1997), and "The Perfect Storm" (2000).

His films are some of my favorites.

Petersen does a good job of telling the story through multiple characters' viewpoints whether outside the virus or inside the virus. There are certain characters who never enter the town in which the virus takes place but we understand why they are important in telling the story.

The only aspect of the film that I had was the runtime. It is a 2-hour movie that feels much longer than that. The film starts out strong and captures your attention. However, about halfway through, it felt like it lagged a little bit. I think if there were about twenty minutes trimmed off in the middle and the ending had a little more impact, the film would have aged better.

In my opinion, the best thing about this film is the characters. They are well-written and feel as if they have a story to tell. With that being said, let's talk about them.


The characters in the film feel very real and well rounded. It feels like they are real people trying to find a vaccine. They have human emotions. They are not cardboard cutouts that are bland. While watching the film, you care about their actions and want them to save the people in this California town.

Hoffman dominates the screen just as he always does. He is a force that you cannot take your eyes off of.

Russo and Freeman do an incredible job of supporting him in the film. Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Patrick Dempsey also have small roles within the film. There is not a sore thumb of an actor found in this film.

There is some tension between Hoffman and Russo's character because of their relationship. The two are a divorced couple who must work together. There are obviously some hurt feelings between them. This creates two characters who we feel have a history together and make them enjoyable to watch.

A scary aspect of the film is between Sutherland and Freeman. It is depicted in the film that secrets have been kept from the public surrounding the virus that only these two characters know of. This creates good moral choices for them to act upon. This is where a lot fo the suspense and tension come from because we view them as bad guys. However, Freeman is faced with a choice on what to do and it keeps our interest to see what choice he will make in saving innocent people.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, "Outbreak" is an enjoyable '90s movie that tells a story that we can (in a way) relate to with the circumstances we are facing as a country. I hope and pray that the people working tirelessly to end the pandemic we are in so it does not get to the point as it did in this film.

If you love the cheesiness of films from the '90s that tell a good story, I would recommend "Outbreak".

The film can be found on Netflix. Stay home, wash your hands and watch this movie instead of the news. It won't make you feel positive about anything going on, but at least it is fiction.

3 stars for "Outbreak"

"Outbreak": Movie Trailer


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