Length: 174 mins
In 1969, it was a brilliant novel by Michael Crichton. In 1971, it hit the screen as an equally brilliant film. Then 2008 saw us with a two-part mini-series remake. There are some movies which, after having read the book, are unwatchable. I am pleased to report this was not the case with The Andromeda Strain. Another trend broken here was that remakes are never as good as the original. I personally prefer the '08 Andromeda slightly more than the '71. The Andromeda Strain was one of those things where you wish it wasn't multi-part because you want to finish it that badly. Perhaps watching it directly after Alexander biased my opinion somewhat, but if anything I think it only served to make me more acutely aware of details.
Let's take a look at what was different in 2008. First, there was the flat-screen iMacs and 3G video calling. Technology is brought up to date for the twenty-first century in every way, and a whole new cast and production crew feature. There are more molecular changes to the storyline though. Things like the fact that a significant number of Negroes appear in what was originally a pro-white novel. Perhaps this brings us to how I can possibly like a remake. I think I can safely say that while retaining enough elements of the novel to be recognisable as such, there was enough completely new material in the mini-series to give it its own place and be evaluated on its own merits.
Acting/screenplay? Actually, I was really impressed. Accuracy/realism? Again, impressed. Ok, there was one last minute bit, but not last second. Editing/special effects? Come on, isn't it good to have the back of the director's head visible somewhere and weird things like that? The production crew did a great job on this one though, the editing was very well done. Responsible too were they for the general flow of the movie. Sequences extended beyond where they should have been? Nope. I thought the Wildfire decontamination sequence was spectacularly composed though. Dodgy CGI was rare, but did include watching Andromeda spread through water and across land.
Complement this with a fitting soundtrack, keep viewers just far enough from the edge of their seats to keep them from falling, and never let the know what's coming next, and you have one remake worth watching. This film gets an overall thumbs-up from me.
A fake blog come RPG was started over at http://www.whathappenedinpiedmont.com/, and more info can be found at the IMDB.