May 27, 2008

"The Andromeda Strain" remake: Standard U.S.-as-bad guy fare

Last night's (and tonight's) remake of the 1971 flick "The Andromeda Strain" ... strains all hopes that I'd actually see a smart film. Check it:

  • The United States government is behind some covert op that either purposely or inadvertently brought back a deadly organism to Earth. Even if it was the latter, they were still up to something devious. How is this any different from what we saw in "Jericho" and why that show bombed out (pardon the pun) so quickly? It couldn't have been just an accident, could it?
  • The "crack staff" of doctors is easily the most perfectly balanced, politically correct multicultural cast for a TV flick ever. It consists of one Hispanic (Benjamin Bratt), one white dude (Rick Schroeder), one white chick, one black chick, and one Asian dude.
  • The lone white dude is, of course, the hothead of the bunch. He's immediately gung-ho for nuking the town that is infected by the mysterious organism. He also is highly suspicious of a North Korean satellite that was in the space vicinity of the American one that crashed with the deadly disease. This, coupled with his distrust of the Asian dude (who's a former Red Chinese gov. official) leads the Asian dude to utter the standard: "You racist."
  • A shady journalist discovers what's going on. The buddy who lets him in on the info is assassinated -- by some undercover government operative.
  • Despite how "efficient" the government is at offing any who become "in the know," and how they clamp down on dissemination of information, it is remarkably stupid when keeping the lid shut on the "crack staff" of doctors. The gov. feigns a communications outage at the secret medical facility to keep the drs. hush-hush, yet Ben Bratt's character then merely asks the guard at the facility's gate to let him make a phone call with the guard's cell phone! Sheesh!
  • The reason why the US sent a probe in the first place: To investigate a micro black hole ... that suddenly disappeared? Yeah, sounds like just the place where an alien microorganism might hang out!

Then there's this great pick-up by a commenter at Ace:

They even blew the military stuff. A pilot is being briefed on the nuclear sterilization of Piedmont. The pilot is warned on what kind of maneuvers to perform after dropping the nuke and cautioned "... but no one actually dropped one of these things since Nagasaki." Aiiiiee! Not only were there dozens of bomb tests dropped from actual bombers in the 1940s and 50s but pilots are WELL aware of HOW to drop a nuke - they practice it all the time!

Let's see how tonight pans out ...

Posted by Hube at May 27, 2008 08:48 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)


I watched both parts because the Phils were winning big and I enjoy SciFi on occasion.

I had many of the same observations you did; I was thinkiing it may have been written by the PC writers at Law & Order.

I assume they threw big bucks at Ridley Scott to make that small screen (low budget?) movie.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at May 28, 2008 02:17 PM

I so don't want to see this movie, as it may spoil my appreciation of Crichton's original book.

Posted by: G Rex at May 28, 2008 04:04 PM