Outbreak (1995)

(On TV, November 1998) This should have been scary enough with just its first subject matter; a fatal, airborne viral infection. Unfortunately, the screenwriters of the movie had just graduated from the Hollywood Action Movie Script School and felt the need to include conspiracies, helicopter chases, explosions, ruthless military officers, an eleventh-hour aerial standoff and pointless dramatic gestures. Bad movie? Not quite. Though certainly over-the-top and not nearly as terrifying as it should have been, Outbreak is still a deftly-produced, enjoyable piece of entertainment. Dustin Hoffman is backed up by a surprising number of good actors (Russo, Freeman, Sutherland, Spacey, Gooding Jr….) and director Wolfgang Petersen obviously knows his stuff. Not a bad choice.

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