January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

A plane travels from Australia to Los Angeles, but one of the passengers has brought more than his carry-on luggage. A man who traveled to Australia to surf the legendary waves there has brought back a lethal souvenir, a deadly virus that has already started to break down his system. Before the plane even lands, the surfer is dead from the virus and has exposed all the others on board. The death and sudden illness of other passengers draws the attention of the Center for Disease Control, which dispatches Dr. Kayla Martin (Tiffani Thiessen). Dr. Martin advises that the plane be quarantined until more information can be gathered, but pressures of all kinds begin to mount. In addition to the race to identify and cure the virus before it kills everyone on the plane, Martin also faces political pressure and problems with some of the passengers. Can she manage to isolate the virus and locate a cure, or will this prove to be more lethal than anyone can imagine?

A few years ago, there was a rush on virus thrillers, thanks to the success of Outbreak, Robin Cook’s novels, and real life threats of ebola, flesh eating viruses, and what not. But that trend died down, though Pandemic arrives to start the panic all over again. I’m never too positive about made for cable movies, but I figured with the virus theme and Tiffani Thiessen in the lead, Pandemic would at least be worth a look. I was pleased with how the show began, it gets off to a good start and builds nicely, but at almost three hours in length, it fails to maintain that momentum. I think the writers tried to keep up the pace by adding in unrealistic elements, which doesn’t work. I’d rather see a shorter version that stays in line with the first hour or so, but the plot is stretched thin and too much filler is thrown in. Thiessen is decent in a role she is a terrible choice for, while Eric Roberts, Faye Dunaway, Bruce Boxleitner, and French Stewart provide supporting roles. Pandemic isn’t all bad, the first hour or so is good, but unless you’re a diehard virus thriller fan, I think this one is avoidable.

Video: How does it look?

Pandemic is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a new production (same year as the DVD release), so as it should, the movie looks good. This was not made on a huge budget, so the visual design is rather simple, but this transfer makes sure it all looks as intended. I wouldn’t call the image crisp, but it isn’t soft, just clear and with decent detail. The colors look natural and contrast is always on the mark, so no complaints there. This is not a remarkable visual effort, but the show looks good and has no serious problems to mention.

Audio: How does it sound?

Not a whole lot to discuss in this area, the Dolby Digital 5.1 option is adequate, but unremarkable. The audio is mostly low impact stuff, a lot of dialogue and low level sound effects. The surrounds do kick in at times to enhance tension or give some life to the music, but its still not powerhouse stuff. The vocals are flawless, never hard to understand and the other elements come across well too, no problems at all.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some cast interviews, a promotional featurette, and the show’s trailer.

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