HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
   
 
  Mission to Mars Red Or Dead?Buy this film here.
Year: 2000
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O'Connell, Peter Outerbridge, Kavan Smith, Jill Teed, Elise Neal, Kim Delaney, Marilyn Norry, Freda Perry, Lynda Boyd, Patricia Harras, Robert Bailey, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 2020, and a group of astronauts are having a party down on Earth to celebrate the upcoming manned mission to the planet Mars, but Woody (Tim Robbins), who is not going, and Luke (Don Cheadle), who is, are worried about their friend Jim (Gary Sinise) who had been earmarked to join the mission until his wife died, leaving him a shadow of his former self. Nevertheless, life goes on so over a year later Luke and his crew are on the alien world's surface and investigating the environment there. However, these four are heading for disaster when something is awakened by their presence...

Did you see Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey? Did you enjoy it until the end when you lost the plot strands and wish it was far better explained? Perhaps you saw Apollo 13 and enjoyed that too? And wish there was a way of melding the two films into an easily understandable science fiction epic, I mean, after all, Contact got a bit confusing as well, and that was along the same lines? Well, this is your lucky day, because Brian De Palma has directed Mission to Mars, brought to you by the people at Disney, which provides plenty of space exploration adventure along with a Chariots of the Gods finale for good measure.

If, however, you are looking for speculative fiction with a more imaginative edge, which doesn't look as if it has been cobbled together from odds and ends of other, better films, then you would be advised to seek satisfaction elsewhere. There's no real aggreement on which of the talented De Palma's films is his worst, but Mission to Mars is liable to come up eventually, and yet with all of his projects there is at least one sequence which shows you a director to be reckoned with. There's not much of that here, but he does make this gleam with a gloss and sheen fitting for a plot preoccupied with technology.

And it's the technological aspects which come off the best, as the human element is one small step above that of a daytime soap opera. Corny would be the kindest way of describing the human interaction here, with the director's uncertain way with sentiment effectively scuppering any chance of taking the story seriously. With Robbins and Connie Nielsen as a husband and wife team sent to rescue the previous Mars mission, along with Sinise and comic relief Jerry O'Connell, the message would appear to be that the easiest method to get over bereavement is to have a close encounter of the third kind.

The business with the second lot of astronauts travelling to the red planet is the best bit, where some suspense can be generated. This is mainly down to the scenes where the spaceship is damaged by a storm of tiny rocks as they approach their rendezvous, but even that is sabotaged by the need for product placement for a soft drink to save the day - and later on a well-known confectionery does the same when working out how to contact the Martians, rendering this film rather too close to a big budget Mac and Me for comfort. For a work aiming so desperately for spiritual profundity it misses by miles, and the special effects-filled climax where there's a meeting of minds between a godlike alien and us lowly humans is frankly laughable. Maybe Kubrick was right, and being vague was the best way to handle the great, big unknowables. Music by Ennio Morricone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2059 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Brian De Palma  (1940 - )

Controversial American director and Alfred Hitchcock fan, strong on style, but weak on emotion. His early, political films like Greetings and Hi, Mom! gained some acclaim, but it was with Sisters that he emerged as a major talent of the 1970s and settled into his cycle of thrillers and horrors: The Phantom of the Paradise, Carrie, Obsession, The Fury, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Carlito's Way, Raising Cain, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale being good examples.

He's not aversed to directing blockbusters such as Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, but Bonfire of the Vanities was a famous flop and The Black Dahlia fared little better as his profile dipped in its later years, with Passion barely seeing the inside of cinemas. Even in his poorest films, his way with the camera is undeniably impressive. Was once married to Nancy Allen.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: