Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1995. Warner Bros., Arnold Kopelson Productions, Punch Productions, Kopelson Entertainment. Screenplay by Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool. Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus. Produced by Gail Katz, Arnold Kopelson, Wolfgang Petersen. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by William Sandell. Costume Design by Erica Edell Phillips. Film Editing by William Hoy, Lynzee Klingman, Stephen E. Rivkin, Neil Travis. New York Film Critics Awards 1995.
When an adorable simian is brought to America from Africa illegally on a barge, it spreads a terrible virus in a small American town that kills residents and calls for a massive quarantine. Deadly Disease experts Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo are called in to help control and understand the situation, but there’s real trouble when we find out that army bigwigs Morgan Freeman and Donald Sutherland experienced a similar situation previously and dealt with it in the most unethical fashion. Lots of nick-of-time, high-thrill moments, some of them too cheesy for their own good (Hoffman talking down Air Force pilots by appealing to their humanity is just too rich), but classier than most films of its kind thanks to excellent direction by Wolfgang Petersen. Russo is just marvelous, and she enjoys a good amount of chemistry and camaraderie with her equally astute co-star.