Diyah Pera
Gillian Flynn
May 23, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Andromeda Strain

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
131 minutes
Wide Release Date
03/12/71
performer
Arthur Hill, David Wayne
director
Robert Wise
author
Michael Crichton
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a C-

A remake of the 1971 sci-fi thriller (and adapted from the Michael Crichton novel), The Andromeda Strain is about a mysterious satellite that lands in Utah and releases a virus that kills people or makes them crazy enough to murder with disturbing speed. That’s all that’s speedy here: Andromeda is a two-night extravaganza that could have been one if its characters didn’t speak in massive, clunky chunks of technojargon. And if they moved faster. (This is one of those TV movies where the music gets tense but no one else seems to get that cue. This is a crisis, people, hustle!) The scientists and soldiers battling the virus, including Benjamin Bratt, Ricky Schroeder, Andre Braugher, and Christa Miller (Scrubs), let loose an unbelievable amount of scientific spiel designed to daze: You know something’s wrong when Bratt, after years of smooth cop talk on Law & Order, looks bored mid-paragraph. Andromeda‘s pace problems are odd, since the movie’s producers include Tony and Ridley Scott, two directors who know from pace. Despite the eerie premise, the cluttered remake mires itself in lab work, inane backstories, and bureaucracy. People assemble a lot and discuss things. Occasionally the crisis gets sexy, like in the extended ”disinfecting” sequence that Schroeder, Bratt, and Miller endure, in which they’re run, Willy Wonka-style, through various sprays and soaps that trickle or shake off their naked bodies in slow motion. Yes, slow motion. C-

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