Oh, I had such high hopes!
After Part One last night, I was thinking the remake of "The Andromeda Strain" was pretty cool, staying fairly close to the original. My hopes were dashed--dashed, I tell you!--tonight by Part Two.
Well, it wasn't horrible. I liked a lot of it, but I suppose it was inevitable that I would compare it to the original.
I was disappointed that they shortened the decontamination sequence when going into the Wildfire complex. I loved the scene in the original when they had to don a metal head shield and all their body hair and the top layer of skin was burned off.
Eric McCormack was the investigative reporter, a new addition to the story. Eric did a good job, but I really didn't see the point of adding this drug-addicted, sensationalist character.
One of Andromeda's effects was irrational and psychotic behavior. This was illustrated nicely in the new version when a guy chopped off his own head with a chainsaw. Nice touch!
The new version got a little too "preachy" with politics and the environment. It also posited that Andromeda was sent from the future as a warning to stop destroying our habitat. As much as I love our habitat, again...preachy. I think this also lessened the story by removing the "random." In the original, it was just a random virus that was alien to Earth and hitched a ride on a satellite, and our scientists were pitted against a seemingly invincible organism.
I was also disappointed in the final sequence, when Stone has to climb the inner core to stop Wildfire's self-destruct sequence. What was up with all the falling debris?! Ken said, "Is that supposed to indicate 'self-destruct'?" The self-destruct device was a nuclear weapon, so I don't think there would be a bunch of trembling structure and raining debris. It would just vaporize the place. Lame.
All in all, while I didn't hate it, it made me resolve to buy the original. Four hours was too much for this--the original's elegance and drama was in its simplicity, and sense of urgency. With four hours, there was just way too much time to muddle the story. The additional story lines and extra time merely clouded what was so cool about the original, and what I still love about it: the SCIENCE. A team of scientists facing an organism that could spell the destruction of the entire planet, and they've got just a few hours to figure out the solution. That's some good stuff, and this was just way too sensationalistic.
One very important thing, though, was that this story is still very pertinent, perhaps more so than ever. While I'm not sure what threat exists from outer space, the threat right here on our own planet is serious enough. I'm not talking about "avian flu," because as of now, that's exactly what it is: avian. If you think that "pandemic flu" is the equivalent of "avian flu," you are mistaken. Avian flu has the potential to become a serious problem--and the potential to become pandemic--but at the moment, transmission is limited to those who are in close contact with infected birds. The "pandemic flu" that you read about is the usual human influenza virus that makes an antigenic shift and becomes something that none of us have been exposed to or have any immunity to. The flu shot will probably not keep you from getting it, but if it's a killer strain, it may provide enough protection to prevent you from succumbing to it. Not to mention that you might prevent those who are more susceptible or have weakened immune systems (i.e., the elderly, children, or those with respiratory problems) from catching something that could possibly be fatal.
After watching the entire remake, I'll still take the original "The Andromeda Strain," with its focus on science and on solving a planet-threatening problem.
An off-topic comment:
I had an email from Shane, which included a clarification about his Mustang:
"by the way, it's '66, not a '67. that's where the 66 in [my email address] comes from. it comes from route 66 too! remember, they are both the same! and dad was 66 years old when we drove the '66 mustang on route 66 for 666 miles! (you've probably never heard him tell that story!) mom's pink mustang was a '67.
I can't remember if I've ever put up a picture of Aunt Bert's pink Mustang. It was completely and utterly cool. Oh hey! Look what I have on this computer! I thought it was only on the basement computer...and it's not just the Mustang that's cool. Aunt Bert was such a BABE!