Mission To Mars

Trespassing in the space exhibit

This film is thoroughly nauseating drivel churned straight out of the Hollywood machine. It is cliched, terribly acted, badly written, boring, and completely devoid of any original touch whatsoever. If you liked this film or don´t want to know what happens then stop reading now.

As the name suggests the film is about Mars, set some time in the not so distant future. The first irritating thing about the film is the disgustingly overbearing product placement. It hits you immediately and does not give up for the duration. This is so full of product placement I´m surprised they had time to film anything else other than futuristic Budweiser cartons, M&M´s wrappers and Dr Pepper. Wait a minute there is something else they caught on film more than the product placement, yep that´s right the good old American flag is in every single shot.

At the beginning of the film we are treated to the bizarrely well known ritual for all astronauts about to leave earth, a big family barbeque. The family staying behind are quickly established then swept away and we´re off into space. Group one are on Mars and something goes wrong with their mission, consequently they stupidly and unrealistically risk another spaceship and four people´s lives on the off chance of saving one guy.

Needless to say the rescue mission doesn´t go according to plan. The guy they are rescuing has been stranded on Mars on his own for a year, of course he is still alive and takes just an hour or so to adjust back to being around other humans. In addition he tells the rescuers that something killed the others and shows them a big alien face. Naturally it takes them around five minutes to solve the mystery he has been working on for a year.

Well by a strange coincidence the face is the same face as on thousands of cheesy alien face products, you know the human face but with big eyes basically (that´s really using your imagination). Turns out the aliens are in fact humans in a higher state of evolution and they left when Mars deteriorated. So Mars was like earth, and when it was hit by a meteor (very topical) the aliens flew away elsewhere, but they sent DNA to earth and left one poor sod behind to wait millions of years for us to evolve enough to reach Mars and unlock the device. What a total load of ludicrous guff. If Mars was like earth and they are humans, only evolved a bit, then why didn´t they come to earth when Mars went bad?

As if the story wasn´t bad enough the acting is appauling. Tim Robbins should be ashamed of himself and his entire death scene, which was meant to be touching or romantic or some such, was actually enough to make me retch. That silly bint who played his wife was perfectly made up throughout the film (make up in space?) and didn't look too upset after her partner died horribly right in front of her. It also means to save one guy they ended up killing another (which is why they wouldn´t have tried to save the first mission). Also unlikely they would allow two people in a relationship to go together, and sure enough because of it the silly woman ends up jeopardising the entire mission.

I´m so used to seeing Gary Sinise turn out to be the bad guy it was surprising that he didn´t here, although his performance was totally wooden. Don Cheadle wasn´t much better.

The pace did the usual unrealistic Hollywood thing of slowing down when something touching or emotional was happening and speeding up when it was supposed to be an exciting moment. It did occur to me that if they just stopped the staring at each other emotionally rubbish, then they would have had time for all the other stuff without having to rush.

As usual with this type of braindead cack America rule space, no mention of how the world has advanced just the suggestion that America will be in charge, pure arrogance. I also think the product placement is the most shameless ever, they end up making a bloody DNA strand out of M&M´s for gods sake. You can just imagine the snivelling advertising rat working out the deal, "yeah ok 2 million but you have to be able to see at least two of the M´s and the packet must be on screen at all times".

The effects and sound are standard. The effects are reasonably good but nothing new, just repeats of effects used elsewhere. The sound is the usual Sci Fi classical music, ripped off from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I suggest you never watch this film as I´m sure it will make you fatter and more stupid. The people responsible for this should be sent to Mars.

Reviewed by Simon Hill

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