Mission to Mars (2000) Brian DePalma

Production Budget: $90-100 million
Worldwide Gross: $105 million

Another poster mentioned during the Red Planet review this movie was 2001 for Retards.  That may have been giving it too much credit.  This is like Contact for retards.  No, that’s giving it too much credit too because I really like Contact.  This is like Fire Maidens from Outer Space for dummies.

Okay the plot.  The year is 2020 and we have the first manned mission going to Mars.  The mission goes wrong when a freak storm kills all but one of the crew members.  A rescue team headed by Gary Sinise is sent to save the crew man.  And if you have seen the trailers then you already know the big twist and just about EVERYTHING ELSE THAT HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE!  Seriously, I don’t know when it became policy for a movie with a twist to spoil it in the trailer.  I think producers think if they don’t give ENOUGH in the trailer that people won’t be interested in the movie itself *cough Matrix cough*.  But wouldn’t it also be true that if you give away the whole movie then we have no reason to watch the movie?

We all know the score here.  We know what the big twist is and it feels like the movie is spinning its wheels until we actually get to the twist.  We waste time with long drawn out scenes of the dumbest scientists in the world sitting around a table debating what could possibly be the cause of it when you just want to scream it at the tv.  Here’s another drinking game you can play: take a shot every time someone says “That’s impossible”.  The rest of the movie we spend with space movie cliches from the 40’s like meteor showers and the noble sacrifices of our brave astronauts.  This isn’t a 2001 clone its Rocketship X-M (2nd MST3K reference for those keeping score at home).

The acting coming from what should be a great cast, is dreadful.  You have Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, Tim Robbins, and even Connie Nielsen.  But they seems to switch between two character motivations: act like a bunch of smug dorks and stare in awe like you are in a Spielberg movie.  Oh, Jerry O Connell is also in this movie…and he is awful.

So what does this movie add that movies like 2001 or Contact already did?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  I guess we are just supposed to be impressed by the “movie magic” and the wonder that there is life out there or some such crap like that.  There is no reason to watch this movie.  Everything about this movie is lame from the acting to the plot to the twist to the dialog to the music.  Everything is just a copy of a copy of a copy and the result is a very blurry image of a once great idea.


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