What You Need To Know:
(B, E, L, VV, B) Moral point of view that individual government officials are not above the law; environmentalist viewpoint that man should not tamper with the earth; 3 obscenities, 2 profanities & 4 vulgarities; action violence, many people die from deadly, gory disease that causes bodies to decompose, betrayal of people by U.S. government officials, & mass murder to cover up; and, appeals for God's help at the end of the movie.
Built around the fast paced search for an anti-serum for a new killer virus, OUTBREAK is a reasonably believable and well-made suspense drama starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Donald Sutherland. The movie opens with the urgent message: “Please send help!” sent from a small village doubling as a mercenary camp located near the Motaba River in war-torn Zaire in 1967. While help is promised, the approaching aircraft actually contains a massively destructive incendiary device (“Operation Clean Sweep”) intended to kill everyone in the camp. It succeeds … almost! Not killed is the deadly Motaba virus. Twenty five years later, Dustin Hoffman as Col. Sam Daniels, a doctor from the Army’s Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, must now return to the Motaba River area. Another outbreak has occurred, and it has spread to the United States.
Fast paced and continuously interesting, OUTBREAK is well constructed and entertaining. However, the plot grows a bit thin toward the conclusion as Hoffman, in Superman fashion, leaps into action and saves nearly the entire world. Director Petersen has admitted off-camera: “I’d like for people to think, ‘maybe we shouldn’t be fooling with nature too much.'” However, the film does make an important point that no man, including a renegade general, is above the law.