Like your science fiction films with lots of science and somber overtones? Then you'll love The Andromeda Strain, based on Michael Crichton's best selling novel, the film has you believe its based on a real life event, where a small town is decimated by a what appears to be a fatal virus. After the government go on red alert, a crack team of scientists are sent in to gather their findings and hold up in the leaders, super powered facility and discover some frightening facts about the so called virus. Andromeda Strain is very much a film of 2 halves, its beginning is frighteningly baron, somber and unsettling, the small desert town is brilliantly realized, with carcasses strewn across the ground and really gives a sense that something literally stopped everyone suddenly in their tracks. The second half is where the science comes in and the underground facility itself becomes one of the films biggest characters. Shown off with a wonderful use of colour and scale, Wise harks towards a Kubrick tone, visually arresting us with his sets and having the score work really unease you. There is a huge amount of influence in this film, a lot of which can be seen in films years from its release and rightly so, its brooding and lush and terrifying and full of suspense. The problem for some viewers will be its alienating factors, its slow, its moody, it talks, a lot! This is not a film that wants to hold your hand, sure it comes with digestable dialogue but it wants you to follow it, rather than push you in the right direction. It all lends itself extremely well to the piece as a whole, for people who love to really investigate their films, Andromeda Strain allows them to do so. You feel like your discovering, first hand, a new deadly Alien strain, you feel trapped in a underground facility, you feel frightened and thats what the film manages to have as its stronger moments. It is however not without its flaws, it at times can be a tad too alienating, it can sometimes feel like some of the dialogue or subtext is forced, it sometimes wanders off leaving you to rush to catch up. I myself blinked and had to rewind a good 15 minutes to understand what was going on at one point in the film. But is that a bad thing? Its a film that demands your attention, it draws you in with its atmosphere and content and forces you into a claustrophobic 2 plus hours of investigation and science. It is not for everyones taste and thats okay, but for those who do enjoy it, they will relish every moment of its majestic presentation and wonderful story.