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Is A&E’s ANDROMEDA STRAIN Remake Infectious Or Deadly??

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Based on the 1969 novel by Michael Crichton (“Jurassic Park,” “Timeline”), A&E’s “The Andromeda Strain” miniseries is about a virus that crashes to Earth and wipes out every resident of a town save an infant and a sterno-swilling drunk. Ridley and Tony Scott’s names are all over the promotional material, but the project was actually helmed by veteran TV director Mikael Salomon (“Runaway,” “The Company”) from a screenplay by Robert Schenkkan (the 2004 TV version of “Spartacus”). Cast members include Benjamin Bratt (“Law & Order”), Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”), Christa Miller (“Scrubs”), Rick Schroeder (“24”), Andre Braugher (“Homicide”) and Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost”). Entertainment Weekly gives it an “C-minus” and says:
… Despite the eerie premise, the cluttered remake mires itself in lab work, inane backstories and bureaucracy …
USA Today gives it two stars (out of four) and says:
… In those rare moments when this two-part thriller from producers Ridley and Tony Scott actually sticks to the book, it works — proof of the power of Crichton's imagination. Unfortunately, adapter Robert Schenkkan, who did an equally shoddy job with USA's Spartacus, uses the book only as a framework on which to load an increasingly incomprehensible mush of power-mad conspirators, environmental activists, stalwart journalists and worm-hole time travel. It would take four more nights just to make sense of the outline. …
TV Guide says:
… This slick and often scary update presents a gripping medical mystery of scientific trial and error against a topical backdrop of bioterrorism, environmental activism and 24-style government conspiracy. Even when it gets heavy-handed, like the subplot with Eric McCormack as a superhero reporter, the entertainment level is pretty sensational. …
The New York Times says:
… “The Andromeda Strain” packs its suitcase so heavily, it cannot travel. It never grows quite suspenseful enough, and it rests on the rather un-sci-fi-ish idea that the future is a benign force, like a mentor uncle with something meaningful to teach us about our venality and callous disregard for the Earth. What combats Andromeda in the end is something simple and primitive and endangered. “The Andromeda Strain” never terrifies, but it succeeds in feeling like a protracted advertisement for Greenpeace. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… The problem with resurrecting "Andromeda" is that, after years of escalating Crichton and other science/medical thrillers, the original story seems fairly bland. Unfortunately, the solution was not to take the plot to Defcon 5 and nuke it to death. Because while Andromeda the strain feeds off such extreme energy, "Andromeda" the movie just turns to irradiated dust. …
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… just before the credits roll on Night 1, "The Andromeda Strain" comes so completely unwound that you think, "I might have to find something else to do tomorrow instead." But resist that temptation. Because once you're invested to that point, you might as well stay around for the payoff, which unfolds uproariously on Tuesday as both a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" candidate for mockery and a thoughtfully constructed drinking game.…
The Denver Post says:
… a cheesy remake of the cheesy 1971 movie based on Michael Crichton's novel … When it tries to be serious sci-fi, this "Andromeda" strains. When it verges on camp, it's not smart enough to be funny. …
The Philadelphia Inquirer says:
… For about three hours and 40 minutes (including the 2 hours and 15 minutes of commercials - OK, not that much, but it always seems like it on cable), the mini-series rockets along, an exciting pile of preposterousness with conspiratorial overtones. Then it fizzles, with stuff you've seen 1,000 times before, and irritating loose ends. …
The Boston Globe says:
… it's a little surprising how much of a paint-by-numbers techno-thriller this is. Little in "The Andromeda Strain" feels unfamiliar. … this version of his story arrives in a world that has seen not only "Lost," but "The X-Files," "Armageddon," and every other sci-fi show or movie that melds disaster, conspiracy, and teamwork. By now, it takes a lot more than clever ideas to keep us hooked. …
Variety says:
… slightly bloated, mildly entertaining and painfully shot full of adrenalin …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… Director Mikael Salomon whips the story into a first-rate, quickly paced suspenseful tale. He is not at all shy about using flashy special effects, but he doesn't let them dominate the drama. Each part has edge-of-the-seat moments, thanks to some admirable performances as well as several intriguing new plot twists that inject surprise at key moments.
9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. SciFi.

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