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Outbreak (the movie)

Patrick O'Neil patrick at corona
Sun Mar 12 15:46:15 EST 1995

On 11 Mar 1995, Nonaka Hidehiko wrote:
>  |		I just saw Mo's post about the new movie "Outbreak."
> I have seen only 
>  |snips on commercials.  Dustin Hoffman has been good in almost everything 
>  |that he has been in.  I'm kind of interested in going to see it - not 
>  |because I think it will be an accurate portrayl. However, It may help to 
>  |give the general public an idea of the importance of the virology 
>  |research that we lab rats are embarked upon.  Certainly we will see 
>  |multiple interviews and spin off news specials.  I just hope that the 
>  |movie going public realizes that the only way to solve such problems is 
>  |to make research a priorty again.           
> I also saw it as a TV ad. programme of half an hour.  I could only
> know a part of the movie, but my impression is 'Could't Holywood make
> OUTBREAK without much actions ?'  I think it is enough and more

I saw the movie this last Friday and enjoyed it up until the last 
half-hour or so when ultra-Hollywood ran rampant.  The virus in the movie 
is loosely based upon Ebola Zaire, it even starts in Zaire.  From there 
it is tense and exciting but...allowing for constraints inherent in a 
two-hour movie, things developed WAY too fast.  The worst part was the 
resolution which was oversimplistic and WAY, WAY, WAY too quick and easy.

I come at the movie from two perspectives:  as a biologist and as a 
former military officer.  As a biologist, the development of the virus 
into a very infectious airborne pathogen was too quick and the virilenc 
was too high (killing in hours rather than allowing it any real 
incubation time at all).  The cure was just...STUPID!  It also worked too 
fast (people on the very verge of death are up and about within hours of 
treatment).  It will likely leave an ignorant general public far more 
ignorant - "Oh, all you need to cure HIV or any other virus is the 
natural host's blood serum."

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