In 1967 in the Motaba Valley, Zaire an outbreak occurred and many people died. The General in charge was General McClintock (Donald Sutherland) and the surgeon in charge was Billy Ford, now General Billy Ford ( Morgan Freeman). They firebombed the area to stop the outbreak.
In 1994 there was another outbreak. It is now called the Motaba Virus from the time before. This time Col. Sam Daniels (Dustin Hoffman) and his ex-wife from the CDC Robby Keough (Rene Russo) are in the region. What they don't know is that what happened in 1967 was kept quiet so it could be used as a weapon. What is also not told is that there is a serum to combat it.
Now a young punk by the name of Jimbo Scott (Patrick Dempsey) likes to sell exotic animal on the side. It's big money and he can use it. Except this time the monkey he is trying to get rid of is a carrier of the Motaba virus. Now this virus is so bad it kills you within three days. The first place he takes the monkey to the owner gets scratched by the monkey and he dies within three days. Jimbo can't sell the guy so he just let's it go in the woods. By this time, the town where the pet shop is located in Cedar Creek, California is infected. Anybody who has come in contact with the monkey is infected and Jimbo travels to Boston to see his girls and that means all on the plane are infected. His girlfriend becomes infected and so does the Hospital that helps Jimbo and his girlfriend. This is some bad shit.
Now everybody is converging onto Cedar Creek. Sam, the ex, Doctor Casey Schuler (Kevin Spacey), and Major Salt (Cuba Gooding Jr.) also join the team.
Here is the problem, Sam and the team are trying to save everybody but Generals Ford and McClintock, yup they are both Generals now, really want this to just go away. You see they never told the President that there was a serum, oops.
Director Wolfgang Petersen does an excellent job showing that when we play with mother nature and come up with chemical weapons we are putting more than our enemies at risk. We are putting everybody at risk. I wish I could sit the leaders of Syria, or any other country that wants to play with chemical weapons, down to watch this movie. Maybe it would show them how stupid they are for wanting to play God.