A passenger returning from Australia dies on plane headed for Los Angeles so the plane's passengers are immediately quarantined upon arrival. The quarantine is broken by the escape of a convicted drug lord - who has the secret to stopping the outbreak. The action is on!
Best lines: "It's not so simple" "Pandemic = Panic Minus Three Letters"
Some Plot Issues: - passenger control at LAX (seems only remotely plausible that someone could walk away from an enforced containment) - virus spread (the movie suggests a quarantine of the LA "hotspot" will prevent spread to the rest of California but the attempt is made days too late. Also the virus had already appeared in other parts of the world) - wooden traffic barriers are used to prevent drivers from leaving LA (not an APC, tank, concrete barriers, heavy equipment, or Apache helicopters ala Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman) - morbidity and mortality of the passengers suggests the LA situation would have been much WORSE than portrayed
Agree with reviewers at amazon.com that the movie portrays: - How the selfishness of one "run-away" infected person can kill tens of thousands and defeat a quarantine. - Failure to be candid with citizens about a run-away makes the situation much worse. - inevitable tensions among the effected politicians. - The bonus-features were interesting
SUMMARY: Entertaining disaster flic that was well worth the money (though probably a one-time watch)!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
FUNNIEST PANDEMIC I'VE EVER SEENOct. 5 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
You knew it had to be schlock when the chic from Saved By the Bell and French Stewart are slated to play doctors from the CDC. Basically a kid returning on a flight from Australia carries a horrible virus on the plane home and dies. The plane and everyone on it is put into quarantine. One rogue passenger escapes the quarantine and runs around yapping on his cell phone and spreading the virus to a bunch of other people. This in turn causes Los Angeles to be quarantined. There are also some subplots including a drug kingpin prisoner whose crew breaks him out of the quarantine, competing political candidates, and the family drama between agent Vincent Spano, his ex-wife and their son. The fake virus hilariously named "riptide" (in lieu of the fact that the first victim on the plane was a surfer) kills people alot like the avian flu. There were funny elements to this movie. The acting is terrible. It has an "after school special" vibe that is totally laughable. Some of the characters are completely stereotypical and nuts (like the militia guy that keeps b**ching about the government and conspiracy type stuff and riles up a group of his cronies to do something about the whole thing after some people break free from the quarantine). I did find the idea of taking the dead bodies to the hockey rink kind of clever since it was like mass refrigeration. I also think as chocked full o' schlock as the movie was, it did try to get its message out about what might happen if a pandemic exploded. All in all, I watched it for the so bad it's cool to watch reason. Be sure not to miss Tiffany - Amber Thiessen telling a nurse that "panic" is "pandemic" with three missing letters - oooohhh geez - totally funny.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
One of the most accurate disease movies I've seenDec 31 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
First my credentials: I have degrees in chemistry, biomedical engineering, environmental management, combating WMD's, and have worked in the Army's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear response department for 5 years.
The acting is a bit lacking. There was nothing that made me cringe outright, but if you hire B+ actors, you get a B+ result. The science of it, however, was very good. There are some technical aspects to take issue with: The timeline for the disease got sped up, and they mingled people's jobs somewhat (virologists, epidemiologists, pathologists, and emergency management personnel are distinct jobs, but some of the characters tend to blur the lines). The military units did not know how to construct a roadblock/checkpoint. For the most part, however, the movie does an excellent job in describing the difficult decisions and hurdles that would be faced in such a pandemic, and is good debate fodder for discussions on these issues.
For example: Is it morally acceptable to shoot civilians attempting to break quarantine? If you have two antiviral drugs, should you give everyone both in hopes that one will work, or should you give one group drug A and another drug B so that you can learn what works? How much information should the public be told and when? Where is the line between limiting panic and public disclosure?
There is very little out-of character stupidity in the movie. Yes there are some selfish/paranoid idiots, but I know several people at least as idiotic as anyone in this movie. The technical inaccuracies are not distracting, and can be attributed to simply making the movie appealing to lay people.
If this is an interest of yours (as it is to me), I suggest watching and taking notes on things you need to decide or wish you knew (for instance, how long does an airplane's oxygen mask supply last?) to respond to these types of things.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Superb and worhty of public attentionOct. 18 2007
Robert David STEELE Vivas
- Published on Amazon.com
It was a very long flight to Oakland (to attend Bioneers), and this movie got me through the last two hours. It is superb. It should be required viewing for every citizen, every official, every foundation leader, every elected person. It is well-crafted, credible, absorbing, and thought-provoking.
Highlights: * How the selfishness of one "run-away" infected person can kill tens of thousands and defeat the pre-quarantine containment process. * Failure to control *each* passenger by name in the delicate transition from infected aircraft to controlled environment is the one thing that can destroy a containment. * Failure to be candid with citizens and put public ran-away notice with photo of the run-away makes the situation much worse. Failure to tell the run-aways office workers and home family the exact threat they represent negates their value in bringing the run-away in before they infect hundreds more directly, thousands indirectly. * The movie provides a fascination depiction of the scientific investigative process, while also depicting the political tensions among the Mayor, the Governor, and others, each seeking to balance archaic political calculations with unknown biological "runaway train" implications. * The movie reminds us that a run-away worst impact is among first responders who missed the alerts and begin to die as fast as the people they are treating. * The utility of ice rinks as emergency morgues for hundreds of bodies.
Overall this is a great movie with a fine plot including a worst case break-out of a convicted drug lord, and what happens when people turn off the radio or silence the witness before they can complete a sentence that begins "it's not so simple."
NOVA: Epidemic - Ebola, AIDS, Bird Flu and Typhoid Congo Not listed on Amazon: Hot Zone with Dustin Hoffman
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Pandemic = Panic Minus Three LettersJune 13 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
PANDEMIC is a timely reminder of how one case of a highly infectious disease can spread with rapidity through our highly mobile world. Director Armand Mastroani pulls the viewer into the byzantine world of how the Center for Disease Control would confront a nightmare come true. A teenage boy returns from Australia carrying a fatal illness and gets sick on a plane headed for Los Angeles. He dies en route so the plane's passengers are immediately quarrantined. Up to this point, we feel both sympathy and empathy for the stricken. But then the plot takes the first in a series of detours solely to generate what the director feels might be lacking should the film depend solely on the plague to retain audience involvement. When the plane's passengers disembark, one might think that the CDC in conjunction with the federal government would ensure that all the passengers are accounted for. All too easily, one of them slips away to wreak havoc on the general population. A further incredible plot complication lies in that one of the passengers is a big time criminal handcuffed to an FBI agent. A paramilitary squad of terrorists attack the hospital where their boss is being held and they free him. Such digressions dilute the impact of what should be sufficiently involving. Still, the action moves quickly and all too often tragically from scene to scene. There are vignettes of truckloads of wrapped bodies being dumped into communal graves for incineration. It is entirely believable that except for the digressions a plague just like this one could escape to decimate an urban population. We are scared as we watch it and that I think was the point.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great movie !!!Aug. 18 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
The only thing I can say about this movie is that it's brilliant, a very good, solid thriller about a virus threatening the population of Los Angeles and maybe the rest of the world. And it shows how dangerous a situation like this can become because of the misconduct of only a few people..... It should also open up people's eyes that a situation like this could occur every minute on our planet and it maybe makes people a bit more thoughtful . All in all, it has everything a good movie needs to have, it's thrilling, has a good strong story all the way through, great scenes and good actors. I especially loved Vincent Spano as FBI-agent Troy Whitlock and Tiffany Thiessen was also wonderful, but all the others did a good job too. I loved this movie, it was really good and the 3 hours passed very fast, they didn't get boring at all. It also had great entertainment-value and good action-scenes. The bonus-features like the making-of and the interviews were also very interesting and so I can recommend this DVD to everybody.... Just watch it !