| De Palma's film meanders around,
getting us to Mars for a rescue mission, with a nary but a few micrometeorites
in the way. And that is what it feels like. Sort of a Close Encounters on Mars,
with an X-files alien, and the Origin of Life on Earth, (seen it on LPB and the
opening of Dilbert, though I suppose it will be a revelation for those elitists
that actually don't have TV sets), chosen one going "home" and other
stuff. A few neat effects and an explanation for the state Mars is in. One or
two audience pleasers and a good answering machine take by Jerry
O'ConnellO'Connell. And lots of dirty red rocks.
Sadly, just not
Oh, if I could
have seen this as a kid thirty five years ago. It would have illuminated my
world. I would have sat rapt with attention, instead of counting the things I
have seen before. And dreamed of the day when I could do a more exciting film
Not to worry, I
have one - several - in the works.
And believe me,
Mission to Mars does not waste any time grinding things to a maudlin halt. We
all know they are going away for a long time, but does it have to take so long
before they even leave?
From the phony
blast-off at the beginning, to the awkward round of good-byes at the going away
party, to the cheesy pickup lines, and sad father-son very pointless
conversation...it has no life, and no expectation of life. It is as dead as the
planet they are heading for at 32 miles an hour.
Aside from the
special landscaping effects, every thing that could have made this film very
interesting, even an unexpected pregnancy on board the mother ship, is left
out. And the "human" drama that intersperses itself is not based on
anything other than the deep respect and trust the astronauts all feel toward
each other. Blecchh.
Nice if the real
world was that way, but it seldom is, so why put it in the film? It adds
nothing except a teary round of "NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO's" when a husband
dies. Sorry, but my sympathy circuits were just not activated for these
characters. I did not grow with them, see them struggle, cheer them on through
hardships because there were not any. And no other reasons to bond with them.
Why just accept their goodness?
They are a pretty
Sad when a subject
as potentially interesting as the Face on mars gets such lite duty
And that is why it
is a spring movie and not a Christmas, Thanksgiving or Summer release. It is
worth three planets though - it just could have been a contender!
Make way for
X-MEN, Dinosaur!, and others.
not in the movie that I wanted to see about midway through it...
- A Saboteur.
- Aliens in space.
- Conflict (say with the boss).
- Aliens on the planet (more than one,
- Walking dead.
- Alien robots.
- Landing of the second orbiter.
- Some kind of space rescue.
- Astronauts getting left behind.
- An underground city.
- A human resurrected.
- Alien DNA take over humans.
- Gary Sinise arrive somewhere.
- Tim Robbins burn up in the atmosphere.
- The rest of the main ship burn up in the atmosphere
or trash the remaining vehicle (what are the odds on that, huh?)
- The script burn up in the atmosphere
- Wacky plants devour people.
- Taking us to the new planet.
- Some kind of alien fort or gizmo or ray
- Alien corpses.
- Alien drugs to fix everybody.
- Alien library instead of just a planetarium, with a
robot "silence" enforcer.
- The astronauts having to buy tickets to get into the
- More than one person on Earth deciding if the mission
is a "go"
- Some way to describe the mission is a "go"
without using that phrase.
- Absolutely no one ever chucking their fist and
shouting "YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" because they are so god damned happy
to get their own way in this or any other movie, ever.
- Some kind of secrecy on Earth about the mission - a
double cross or whatnot .
- DNA made out of Reese's Pieces instead of M&Ms-
anything to break the monotony.
- Did I mention conflict? I mean real honest to God
conflict? Or cowardice, or any human kind of emotion? MY GOD! I found the
aliens - they are unfeeling unthinking inhuman robots disguised as
- Backup computers that do not work either.
- Dirt on their nice clean white alien
|But those things are not in
this movie. Nor any of another one million inventive things. They went for
boring old realism, and plausible explanations, when I want adventure, romance
and illogical, God-fearing excitement in my space movies.