The Andromeda Strain
I’m watching The Andromeda Strain for the first time. The book was, as far as I remember, unshowy but tense, at least all those years ago. Director Robert Wise and his lack of flashy visuals is a good match for the script. Furthermore, the entire cast is wooden to a fault, in other words perfectly suited for Crichton’s clunky dialogue.
If the movie had been made in this millennium, the scientists would be slowly decimated while fighting off hordes of zombies, but them were simpler days. Here, they run tests until the terrifying virus mutates into something harmless.
I quite enjoyed The Andromeda Strain, and if you’re capable of dealing with (by contemporary standards, at least) a somewhat leisurly pace, I heartily recommend it. The clinical approach adds realism and ups the tension, and the lack of histrionics makes the deadly virus all the more plausible.
Of course, the most fascinating thing about the movie is perhaps the thought that, not that long ago, you could actually make a movie where middle-aged, average-looking people sitting around talking and doing science stuff were plausible as heroes. Duck Dynasty it ain’t.
- Director: Robert Wise
- Cast: Arthur Hill, David Wayne, Kate Reid, Paula Kelly