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Outbreak (the movie)...and SPOILERS!

Patrick O'Neil patrick at corona
Tue Mar 14 12:36:28 EST 1995

On 14 Mar 1995, deborah wisti-peterson wrote:

> i saw outbreak and thought the movie was totally stupid. 
> it made scientists look like a bunch of miracle-workers 
> that can cure any evil virus-caused disease within days 
> of its discovery, it made military officers look like a 
> pack of megalomaniacal crazies, and it is so bloody 
> inaccurate that i was simply astounded. 

Well...I too did go into some of these observations and while the science 
and military portrayals were gauling to me, there WAS some great 
helicopter action.  Though I certainly agree with your criticisms, I also 
was NEARLY able to suspend belief off and on to enjoy the first 1/2 to 
3/4 of the movie.  It seemed that the director and editors had been 
going, and going, in producing tenseness and action but then realized 
that they had to resolve the movie somehow within the last 15 minutes of 
the two hours alloted.  Of course, the Andromeda Strain also had this 
problem:  Oh look, the space bug has mutated into a harmless form just in 
time to resolve the movie! - forgetting that mutator virusesalong those 
lines are made up of swarms, forming a quasispecies (like HIV) with some 
being harmless, others being reasonably benign, and others being 
nasty...all within the same serum.  

  If ONLY these producers and directors would consult with ME (or just 
about any other scientist - or military officer) they might get a little 
more realism into their films.  But I guess reality is too boring, though 
I would think that a real Ebola epidemic breaking out would be both 
realistic AND scary enough for audiences.

> another inaccuracy; using the monkey 
> serum to cure the all of the sick people within the town 
> within *hours* of infusion. (like that monkey has that 
> much serum! 
I did feel sorry for the poor monkey that had to produce enough magic 
serum to cure an entire town.  Whatever process they used in the movie to 
produce so much effective antibody otherwise...I want that procedure!  


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