Outbreak (1995)

You know what’s a great idea? Watching a virus movie while the nation is under siege from a virus. Yes, I do take medication due to heightened anxiety, why do you ask? Anyway, I went with Outbreak over Contagion because while Contagion is more… realistic and relevant to our current epidemic, Outbreak is more of a 90’s action thriller with a virus that kills people in 3 days. Just a tad more fantastical and action-orientated.

We open up to the American military committing a war crime, bombing an infected village out of existence. Years later the virus comes back, makes its way to America, and is a problem for Mr. Dustin Hoffman and Mrs. Rene Russo. While tracking the source of the virus–Marcel, the monkey from Friends, and that’s a real fact–they have to work against a military conspiracy actively trying to kill them, led by Donald Sutherland without any facial hair. In the end direct orders are disobeyed, Sutherland is arrested, the cure is developed, and our divorced protagonists find love once again. Ah, the 1990’s sure were a less nuanced time…

Despite not really resembling our current situation, this movie did raise my anxiety at several points. Several people fall into the category of “wouldn’t tell anyone they got bit by a zombie,” either knowingly or through sheer stupidity. Kevin Spacey starts off the movie as a sassy friend (seriously, how did we not know he was gay for so long), but ends up lying about his suit ripping and infects Russo. You [alleged] rapist piece of shit. Another guy has a vial of blood explode in his face, and he just… goes home? There’s no protocol for that? Just wash him up and call it a day? What the actual shit! There are people willfully disregarding quarantine orders and that ends with a military helicopter blowing up their truck. And then there’s the guy on death’s door who thought it was a good idea to go see a movie. He ends up infecting an entire theater, coughing on everyone waiting in line at concessions. Shit like this is probably happening every day (well, not the movie guy as most theaters are closed, but still), and that caused warning alarms to ring in my head.

I guess what I’m trying to say is STAY HOME AND WASH YOUR GODDAMNED HANDS!!


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