|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Thursday, May 29, 2008 |
( 5/29/2008 06:22:00 AM ) Bill S.
STRAINED CREDULITY: Watched the ballyhooed A&E broadcast remake of The Andromeda Strain last night, though when I think of all the other better things I've got DVRed and ready to watch on DVD, I feel pretty dumb about the decision. What worked as a serviceable Robert Wise s-f suspenser in its movie version turned mind-numbing as a four-hour mini-series. Scripter Robert Schenkkan's decision to slather a government conspiracy plotline onto the story proved more of a distraction than an addition, while the story's political addition (a subplot about a plan to do deep sea vent mining) was so hamfistedly treated that you just knew it'd prove Truly Significant later in the story. I like a good gummint conspiracy as much as the next sixties survivor. But by opening up the storyline to feature all these seen-it-before subplots (a reporter on the run in the desert!), the TV-movie effectively drained all the claustrophobic suspense of the original Michael Crichton story.
Dumbest moment in the teleflick: when epileptic scientist Daniel Dae Kim, after undergoing a grand mal seizure, finds the strength to climb down into a tunnel and toss a severed thumb several hundred feet up to a waiting Benjamin Bratt. (That's some pitchin' arm!) It was such a ludicrous moment that the fx couldn't even make it look the least bit convincing. Oh, and were we supposed to believe that the reactor cooling pool at the bottom of the tunnel was radioactive? I don't think it works that way . . .