Outbreak (1995)

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, sports and movies have been a significant part of my life since I can remember. Now that I’ve reached my late thirties, there so many movies I haven’t seen or heard of. My hope is that I get the chance to someday.

The movie Outbreak appeared on that list because of the current state of affairs in the world. Until last week I never heard of this film, and if I did, it was only in passing when I was a teenager. I decided to venture into the unknown and watch movies about viruses (without zombies – because I’m still a hater).

When I looked up this film and its award-winning cast, I wondered why have I never seen or heard about it before. I was blown away by terrific performances from Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Donald Sutherland. I never turn down opportunities to watch films with any of those people, so I was a little surprised to see them all together. (Kevin Spacey is it in too, but I still don’t think we are allowed to talk about him.)

Hoffman won me over from the start. I know he’s famous for a dozen roles, but I loved his performance in this one. His character was so smart, ahead of the curve, and willing to risk his life. He never backed down and broke every rule to stop the spread. Freeman’s role was kinda there, but if you blinked, you might have missed it. He helps move the story along, but don’t praise anything he did to cover his own tracks.

Meanwhile, Sutherland plays the bad guy, if we can call him that. He took his role so sternly you could think that all Generals in the United States military were like that. He deserved everything that came to him at the ending, and I got to say it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

My biggest regret to this point is I didn’t go see Outbreak in theatres. I also know that that 25 years ago, I wouldn’t have liked this movie. Nothing about it would have appealed to me like it did today. I’ve grown up with everyone in the cast and have a deeper appreciation for their talents and abilities to tell stories.

The acting and the story won me over. The situations played out in this fictitious story all have a hint of realism in 2020. I know most of you will shrug off my rating and think I’m crazy, but as I said before, I absolutely loved this movie and wish I could have been introduced to it earlier. 9/10

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