May 26, 2008

NOT JUST A NICE DIRECT SHOT AT THE HYSTERICS...:

Earth’s End Is Near Again: Crichton’s Brain Squad Is Back (GINIA BELLAFANTE, 5/26/08, NY Times)

“The Andromeda Strain,” Michael Crichton’s 1969 novel, written while he was still a medical student at Harvard, is like one of the mutations the book painstakingly describes. It can shape-shift into a dozen metaphors. At the time of its publication it spoke not only to cold war fears but also to more up-to-the-minute notions that lunar missions might result in the importation of perilous contaminants from the Moon.

Since the 1980s “The Andromeda Strain” could be read as an AIDS or Ebola or bird-flu novel. In its most recent adaptation, as a four-hour mini-series beginning Monday night on A&E, it quakes with the noise of nearly every threat to our national well-being. [...]

“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.


...but a nice reminder that the world-ending threats to public health have been rather easily thwarted by decent hygiene practices.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 26, 2008 8:06 AM
Comments

it rests on the rather un-sci-fi-ish idea that the future is a benign force

Here the reviewer reveals his total ignorance of what good Science Fiction can or should be. It's only in Hollywood where "sci-fi" has become synonymous with dystopias and where all futures are bleak. (Start with "Blade Runner", "Terminator" and "Alien" and work your way down...)

it succeeds in feeling like a protracted advertisement for Greenpeace.

Now I'm really confused. Since when has Greenpeace ever thought that human behavior is a "benign force"?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 26, 2008 9:49 PM
« MAYBE THEY JUST WANT SWEET CHEAP APARTMENTS FOR THEMSELVES?: | Main | HE'LL GET THE EMOTIONALS: »