Deadly Outbreak (1995)

DeadlyOutbreakCoverI can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped on the street by total strangers and told “Deadly Outbreak is just Die Hard in a chemical plant.” I suppose they’re just trying to be cute, but I’ve never been one to maintain a polite silence in social situations so I always fire back with both barrels. “Die Hard is just Deadly Outbreak in a skyscraper,” I respond and then bring it all home by adding, “but without Jeff Speakman!” Then I go all Kenpo over their ass just like Jeff would do!

Jeff Speakman who is The Perfect Weapon at being The Expert of single-handedly thwarting whatever crazy scheme serial killers and terrorists can throw at him fights against all odds in Israel to prevent Ron Silver from detonating a canister of the most deadliest chemical ever conceived of in all of human history since Michael Dudikoff saved the Dudikoff Action Movie Universe from his own most deadliest chemical ever conceived in Strategic Command. Dudikoff was excellent in wiping out Eurotrash terrorists aboard a 747 in that one, but Speakman was excellent plus one in Deadly Outbreak because he came loaded with quips!

You know what I like? Humorless violence! Guys squinting, frowning, and groaning as they dispense their grim brand of rough street justice always leaves me feeling like I want to go out and find someone to beat up! But you know what I LOVE? Violence with snappy one liners!

A product of the 1980s action film movement when the likes of Arnie, Bruce, Eastwood and Stallone spewed forth witty bon mots whenever they offed some creep, a lot of action films have since abandoned this or greatly reduced their use. Speakman though makes up for this and takes it up a notch by tossing his funny dialogue off even as he’s engaged in some brutal act.

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The highlight of course is when he blasts a guy in the nuts with a shotgun and observes that the guy forgot to wear his shotgun-proof cup! A close second is when he interrupts a terrorist from raping a female scientist by saying, “hey, that’s not practicing safe sex!” and then proceeds to pummel the guy and stomp his balls!

He also gets under Silver’s skin by complaining about the terrorists attempting to take over the chemical plant by saying, “your party stinks! Not enough ice cream and too many clowns!”

When he’s not practicing his stand-up, Speakman’s day job is as a United States embassy security officer in Israel and it is his duty to escort Silver and his gang of terrorists inside the chemical plant.

Through a ridiculous scheme involving some radar jamming equipment and an identical plane, Silver manages to trade places with the plane load of legitimate scientists who are supposed to be going to the chemical plant.

Silver though is actually a disgruntled former army colonel who plans to steal this dangerous chemical agent in order to force the government to pay him $500 million to various untraceable accounts plus $10 million to be placed on a plane in cash – he needs some walking around money after all.

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Speakman discovers that the terrorists have attacked before he leaves the facility so he does what any of us guys who kicked all kinds of ass in the special forces before settling down with our kid and security guard job at the embassy would do – hook up with the sexy doctor who knows all about the chemical, get all the other hostages killed, and repeatedly use your special brand of kung fu to lay a furious beat down on all the greasy-haired losers who don’t mind getting kicked in the head again and again.

Fans of explosions, breaking glass, shootings, and hand to hand fights that often include slow motion will no doubt stain their couch with uncontrolled pleasure while viewing Speakman being put through his paces.

And make no mistake folks, this isn’t a Steven Seagal straight to video action movie that involves a few close ups of the star’s chins followed up by a very limited amount of poorly photographed action. Speakman is constantly fighting in this one.

I started to wonder why he didn’t just kill these guys because he would beat them up and leave them unconscious and then have to turn around and fight them again. He did attempt to slow down one guy by slicing his Achilles heel after knocking him out, but even that guy came back to get some more! (He got grenaded for his efforts.)

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But you aren’t just limited to Speakman’s cutting remarks and Kenpo magic fists either! You’ll see him blown in the air several times! You’ll thrill to the big van chase through the underground caverns of the chemical plant! You’ll gasp as he runs as slow as he can to make sure that the giant front-end loader driven by a terrorist almost gets him! And when Silver is allowed to escape with Speakman’s sexy doctor pal in a bus, you have no doubt that a Speakman jump off a helicopter onto the top of the bus is about to happen!

Deadly Outbreak isn’t exactly an awesome looking film. There’s a lot of destruction that makes you wonder if there have ever been so many windows and empty containers in one building before, and the terrorists are entirely generic (and quite foul mouthed!), but it looked like Speakman was having a good time. He even tries to quote Humphrey Bogart while flirting with his gal pal doctor in between bouts of fighting terrorists!

As a bonus, there’s a pointless tacked on bit where Speakman’s son has somehow been taken hostage by a terrorist who wasn’t even involved in the chemical plant take over! Proving that he is Speakman’s son, the kid kicks the guy in his gonads! And what’s great about that is that we saw Speakman teaching the kid that move right at the beginning of the movie! And yeah, I knew I had a winner right from the beginning when I saw the kid rack Speakman!

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