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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.03%
Worth A Look: 16.78%
Average: 10.74%
Pretty Bad: 25.5%
Total Crap42.95%

8 reviews, 101 user ratings

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Mission to Mars
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by EricDSnider

"Lots of talking, very little doing."
2 stars

"Mission to Mars" is like a waking coma. It's peaceful and calm. Characters perform actions and talk -- man, do they ever talk -- yet everything happens so slowly, it's like a dream. A really boring dream that you can't wake up from. Brian De Palma, one can only assume, was asleep when he directed it. (He must certainly have fallen asleep when he watched it, if he ever did.) This is nearly 2 hours of people TALKING about going to Mars, and TALKING about rescuing a crew member who might be marooned there, and TALKING about figuring out the origins of life, and a total of about five minutes of people actually DOING something about it.

Luc (Don Cheadle, who is only an inch away from being Tim Meadows) is the only survivor of the first manned exploration of Mars. Seems the others got killed when a powerful tornado-like natural disaster occurred, in a sequence that can best be described as calmly suspenseful. No chaotic camera work or loud underscore here. Just carefully planned, precisely done mayhem.

That tone seems sort of fresh and original when it happens. But when you realize that this methodical approach to shooting action sequences is to be applied to the entire film, you quickly realize that you're in for some serious boredom. Scenes like fixing a breach in the ship's hull, or rescuing a crew member who has gone adrift in space -- scenes that should be fast-paced and exciting -- are instead as slooooow as molasses, allowing for no tension or climax whatsoever.

Anyway, back on the space station, Woody (Tim Robbins), his wife Terry (Connie Nielsen), along with Phil (Jerry O'Connell) and Jim (Gary Sinise) think Luc might still be alive, so why not take six months to zip on over to Mars and see if they can't rescue him? And why not take us, too, and show us a bunch of zero-gravity stuff that looks like De Palma was just having fun showing off his zero-gravity special effects, with no regard to advancing the story or developing the characters? What they hey, why not?!

After several eternities, they get to Mars, sans one crew member who dies (I won't spoil it, but count that person lucky for getting out of the movie with a shred of dignity left). Sure enough, Luc is still alive, though a bit crazy, and rather than just head back to Earth, they instead investigate a weird Mars thing that winds up teaching them where life came from, with help from a bag of M&Ms and a crying Martian.

"Mission to Mars" features very good visual effects and a gorgeous Martian landscape. It also features wooden acting by performers who seem embarrassed by their lines.

And with good reason. The movie makes its characters say melodramatic things like, "He's the best we've got!" and "Let's get out of here!" and "I'm not leaving you!" Bad dialogue is tolerable in an action movie, but in a film that is almost all dialogue with no action, it's a nightmare. If I wanted to, I could tell you every single thing that happens in this movie in two sentences. I could also make the film about 30 minutes shorter by just cutting the crap and picking up the pace. If only De Palma had done that, he might have come up with something watchable, instead of this dull, tepid waste of time.

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originally posted: 07/05/03 13:05:05
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User Comments

6/21/18 Louise Not gonna see it but the bad reviews are such fun to read!! 1 stars
3/25/18 morris campbell it sux 1 stars
10/10/09 Gary What a piece of shit! I wouldn't even wipe my ass with the film reel. HORRIBLE 1 stars
9/29/09 CSB Pure rubbish... 1 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner Very Boring! 1 stars
2/04/08 Pamela White mission average 3 stars
11/18/07 Tee Given a choice, I'd rather watch a sewer than this again. 1 stars
5/01/07 Indrid Cold Not so bad. Obviously De Palma was going for a 2001-style slow-paced elegance. 3 stars
2/09/07 David Pollastrini HORRIBLE, ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE 1 stars
8/18/05 ES Gary Sinise & Tim Robbins I thought forn sure this thing was going to rock 3 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Should have paid for a technical advisor. Missed potential 2 stars
1/28/05 Charlie I would rather have my fingnails torn off with pliers than have to sit through this again! 1 stars
9/27/04 P.Rodriguez Grossly Underated. 5 stars
8/11/04 Nikolai Soviet techno propels uppity from nihilistic psychotic compatriots to wanton skanks embrace 1 stars
7/29/04 Evan Good God! what a load of crap. 1 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Has absolutely no believeability. 1 stars
2/18/04 john unbelievably bad - so bad it becomes an achievement in being bad 1 stars
2/04/04 Jingo P. NOT the way De Palma should end his career. Bland, lame, and HUGELY cliched. 2 stars
1/04/04 Jeanette I thought it was great. positive ending 5 stars
11/30/03 john hard to believe until you actually see it - unbelievably bad! 1 stars
7/06/03 Jack Sommersby Technically adept but emotionally aloof. 2 stars
2/18/03 P.Rodriguez If da "pretty crappy" kiddies wanna go watch a mov I suggst SWEp1 so u can get off on jaja 5 stars
2/11/03 Ubu the Ripper Proof that Brian DePalma was replaced with a retard lookalike who can't direct. 1 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Better than Red Planet 4 stars
10/23/02 Keely Allison When the end credits rolled, I had to wake up the two friends who were with me 1 stars
9/24/02 Eric 7of9, I heartily agree. Great movie for those who ever dreamed of discovery. 5 stars
6/18/02 7of9 Get Fu#@ed brainless idiots out there, everybody else enjoy 4 stars
2/26/02 Butterbean "The Best sci-fi since Contact"? That's not a compliment, but it sums up my review, Ric 2 stars
1/23/02 Jim Zzzzzzzzzzzz 2 stars
1/18/02 Spyguy2 WOW this sucked...Gary Sinise looked like he was in drag 2 stars
12/08/01 Monster W. Kung Unoriginal, but not nearly as awful as the idiots say. Wait for cable. 3 stars
8/27/01 ric Best sci-fi since Contact. 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Bob, Lord Of Evil wrote the greatest fucking review...this movie is awful. 1 stars
8/07/01 rtheerman i love sinise, the music, but needed more meat to the script. Slow doesn't = good. 4 stars
8/06/01 badfish Call me mindless i dont care.Loved it,own it! 5 stars
7/04/01 Monday Morning Pretty good...compared to "Cabin Boy". 2 stars
7/01/01 chad I just want the car he drove in the begging 2 stars
4/24/01 I love movies pretty bad............................................................................... 2 stars
4/10/01 Gary This is a stupid and boring movie. 1 stars
3/07/01 Mike Whoever puts anything other than total crap should be shot with DePalma! 1 stars
2/23/01 INCUBATOR C`mon, people, it`s good and it could be true from the scientific point of view. 4 stars
1/16/01 bats oh, what crap! oh, what BORING crap! 1 stars
12/17/00 Tom it wasn't that bad! God, try watching Battlefield Earth, then you'll know a bad film! 3 stars
11/23/00 Tob1 A waste of my precious time..See you in court mr DePalma 1 stars
11/14/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Hopelessly depressing yet devoid of any sort of nuance. Robbins and Sinise deserve better. 2 stars
9/30/00 lainey louise worse fuckin movie i've seen 1 stars
9/18/00 Suzz Bad. Really, really bad. 1 stars
6/16/00 Terry B. This movie sucked more than any other movie has ever sucked before. 1 stars
5/07/00 punkass Not as bad as some have suggested, I have seen many, many worse films this year. 3 stars
5/05/00 Konnektedzki Bad dialog, bad plot, bad science, and an all-star cast in the worst roles of their careers 1 stars
4/29/00 MR joel harwood . 1 stars
4/29/00 Richard Wright After 2 hours of this utter tripe I expected was a great ending so I waited and.. WHAT?! 1 stars
4/21/00 Danny Sykes Good concept that was very underrated 4 stars
4/20/00 Maclay01 Derivative yes. Hokey yes. Homogenized yes. But good sci-fi & great FX. Come on its Disney! 4 stars
4/18/00 Brien OMG that SUCKED! 1 stars
4/16/00 Steve Brian DePalma can't direct a movie and this is no exception 1 stars
4/10/00 Garry Johnstone A truly appalling movie. 1 stars
4/10/00 Louis SUCKS 1 stars
4/10/00 lazt lighten up,it's good sci-fi fun!!! 4 stars
4/08/00 burton t. e. miller sloooooowwwww.... 2 stars
4/07/00 SID I was expecting cow shit, and I ended up really enjoying it. Maybe you will too. 4 stars
4/06/00 kohawk the movie was so fucking funny that instead of leaving, I stayed if only to ridicule it 1 stars
4/06/00 Bruce so bad it was laughable 1 stars
4/03/00 PJ Why DePalma, Your talented, the movie was a kiddie movie with no substance, and theme. 2 stars
4/01/00 Pat L 120 minutes instead of 90 because of too much sloppy emotion. Zero-G dance scene was nice. 2 stars
4/01/00 entropy I thought hollywood finally got the idea, i guess not 1 stars
3/27/00 Lame-Oh holy Swiss cheese, it blows. makes the folks at NASA look like morons 1 stars
3/26/00 ITCHYPINGY mission to mars? more like mission to your anus, this movie blows ass chunks! 1 stars
3/26/00 Malbert mission to HELL!!!! what the fuck?!?!?! 1 stars
3/25/00 Chartsy Oh, the humanity! I can't believe movies like this are made. 1 stars
3/25/00 malcolm not the action film i hoped for but still very good. robbins' last scene was wonderful. 4 stars
3/25/00 Lipian This movie is the biggest piece of shit that I have ever seen. Fuck you Mission to Mars 1 stars
3/22/00 Kandor I forgot that I'd seen this movie by the time I got home! Even the special effects suck! 1 stars
3/21/00 Laura ouch. that one hurt 1 stars
3/21/00 dash Pretty cool. No monsters, invading aliens or evil machines. Some actual thought occurred. 4 stars
3/19/00 Adam I get the feeling this is gonna clean up at the Razzies next year... 1 stars
3/19/00 Kris Reilly Wonderful cinematography. Stiff dialogue and acting, corny music, and a very corny ending. 3 stars
3/17/00 Dirty Dave Capone horrible movie, did anyone catch the CORNY music played throughout this shitty movie?SUCKS! 1 stars
3/15/00 Sine This film's so bad, it's hilarious. You've gotta see it, if only to redefine 'bad' 4 stars
3/15/00 pipeman looks good, but otherwise is painful to watch. Ack. Ptui. 1 stars
3/15/00 Lame-Oh Houston, we have a problem. It's a sissy movie. 1 stars
3/14/00 Stan Wright It's no Oscar winner, but still a good sci-fi ride. 4 stars
3/14/00 Ataraxia In a'serious' scientific movie you really shouldn't break the laws of physics several times 2 stars
3/14/00 Richard Lewis Pretty disappointing, and I worked on it! 2 stars
3/14/00 Terrance Phillip This movie is like none other before, please for the love of god don't see it. 1 stars
3/13/00 JonnyAngel plop...plop... 2 stars
3/13/00 Captain Highcrime Yet another attempt by H'wood to explain the meaning of life. BORING! 2 stars
3/13/00 woo hoo Ehhh....good if you like schmaltz 1 stars
3/13/00 eric 'reverend' maultsby tried to be contact but profoundly failed, go see the ninth gate 2 stars
3/13/00 Jim The future is lame: SUV dunebuggy elec. cars, recursive self vidtaping, Van Halen in zeroG? 2 stars
3/13/00 Matt Bad science, corny lines, wooden delivery. Still, they go to mars! go see this! 3 stars
3/12/00 Louis OH. MY. GOD. this movie sucked in the worst way. see wonderboys instead 1 stars
3/12/00 Brian I kept hoping for it to redeem itself, but it just kept pulling out sci-fi cliches 1 stars
3/12/00 TimmyToday Was as cold and distant as the planet Mars is from earth. 2 stars
3/11/00 Antigone Great material for Mystery Science Theater! Remember, don't drink and laugh your ass off. 1 stars
3/11/00 it sucked really bad. 1 stars
3/11/00 ladislau Erik, you're right! Good-old-plain movies are rare these times! Two fingers up! 4 stars
3/11/00 mike b depalma's done it again. ripped everyone off to make another mediocre genre movie. avoid!!! 1 stars
3/11/00 Ben Ryan Too much story in a poorly acted storyline.. 3 stars
3/11/00 Xalt Got cheesy at the end. 3 stars
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  10-Mar-2000 (PG-13)



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