Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mission to Mars Movie Review

Mission to Mars (2000)
Rent Mission to Mars on Amazon Video
Written by: Lowell Cannon and Jim Thomas & John Thomas (story). Jim Thomas & John Thomas and Graham Yost (screenplay)
Directed by:
Brian De Palma
Starring:  Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, Jerry O'Connell

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

When the first manned mission to Mars meets a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting a unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate and bring back any survivors.

The concept is fun, though not novel. Why are we fascinated with Mars, and from where did our ancestors hail? The problem is the clunky dialog. Due to that, this never feels credible. That and the CGI is woefully outdated. I like sci-fi so the concept made this bearable, but this could have been a good movie. It's not.
It depends.

To be a space and NASA movie, it's an interesting move to jump cut and not see the astronauts ever leave Earth. The first scenes is a backyard cookout and in the next scene they're on Mars. The cookout scene must have been added later just to introduce us to the characters and provide them a hint of personality. The first Mars scene feels like an opening scene as it starts tracking a little rover before jump starting the plot.

I also don't understand why this is set in the future. There's little reason for it and the only 'future' thing we see is a car that is laughably low effort. Maybe NASA tech wasn't at the required level, but it's probably part of the misguided effort when adding the cookout scene. I just don't believe that scene was part of the original script.

Once on Mars an exploratory team finds an anomaly. They encounter a storm while investigating and that sequence is just hokey, from the acting to the visuals. A lot of the movie feels like how someone imagines space exploration without any of the training or knowledge of what it's really like. Due to this storm and loss of contact a rescue mission is enacted.

The timeline of how quickly the rescue mission arrived is a lingering question. I don't know how long it would take to do the calculations and plan a mission to get the team up there. It seemed like a short time, but then Don Cheadle's character looks like he's been stuck on Mars for a few years when they find him.
The way the movie develops characters is just clunky. Much of the dialog is soap opera level and that isn't a compliment. I like the concept. This explores humankind's origin, but it feels like something out of the '80s, not as recent as 2000.

I liked Sinise's wife foreshadowing when she talks about how Mars must be special because it holds a special place in many culture's. It's a nice bit of foreshadowing that would have worked even better towards the beginning of the movie, rather than the end.

The team finally discovers the origin of the anomaly and we are treated with some terrible CGI. If you watch this, compare it to the CGI dinosaurs in Jurassic Park which was made seven years earlier.

I really thought this might tie back to the Egyptian civilization. It has this whole conspiracy vibe going, why not take it all the way. Sadly, it doesn't make that connection.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blogger Widget