More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.73%
Worth A Look: 10.91%
Average: 21.82%
Pretty Bad40.91%
Total Crap: 23.64%

11 reviews, 44 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Everybody Knows by Jay Seaver

Alita: Battle Angel by Peter Sobczynski

Integrity by Jay Seaver

Happy Death Day 2U by Peter Sobczynski

Arctic by Jay Seaver

Punk Samurai Slash Down by Jay Seaver

Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The by Rob Gonsalves

High Flying Bird by Peter Sobczynski

Tito and the Birds by Peter Sobczynski

Lego Movie 2, The by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed

Red Planet
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"Dull inhabitants. Dull all around."
2 stars

And here we go again…lights, camera, ignition, blast-off! Cinema returns to one of its favorite places, one that science can dismantle the validity of the plot within minutes: outer space. With the inclusion of Red Planet, that adds yet another tack on the tally this year along with Supernova, Pitch Black, Mission to Mars, Battlefield Earth, Titan A.E., and Space Cowboys. But the only real competition here is Mission to Mars. (Supernova and Pitch Black dealt with aliens they encountered on another planet or in outer space. Battlefield and Titan covered the destruction and ruling of Earth by another life form, and Space Cowboys just shot a bunch of geriatrics up to fix a satellite.)

If you ask me, Mission to Mars did pretty well on its own, while this claims to be “The first manned mission to Mars,” in 2057. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t M2M take places in the 2020s?) A crew of six (Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Terence Stamp, Benjamin Bratt, Simon Baker, and mission commander Carrie-Anne Moss –notice it’s a group of caucasians only?) are on their way to investigate what went wrong with the “Mars Terraforming Project,” in that they sent algae to Mars to grow and create oxygen, so the dying Earth can be replaced.

Immediately something goes wrong, which sort of strands them. They have to take direct action, so all but Moss head for the base on the planet. Upon a rough landing (even less funny as a scene as it is a surprise), Stamp suffers a ruptured spleen. They would hoof him, but they only have seven hours of oxygen left and must get to the base. Then Baker and Bratt get in a fight, where Baker pushes him off of a cliff. Since no one else saw it, let’s pretend it was an accident! Then along comes AMEE, their military mapping and exploration robot, which has gone into kill mode. As with most movies of this genre, it becomes “Survivor” in outer space.

You might be surprised to know that beyond some bugs that eat the algae, produce C0-2 and crack like fireworks when lit on fire, there are no aliens. The screenwriters, Chuck Pfarrer and Jonathan Lemkin create their own convenient logic and resources such as the evidence of breathable air on Mars. It isn’t half the mystery it is to us as it is to the crew. (“How can there be oxygen here?”/ “Hmm, it must be those damned clever screenwriters throwing us a curved ball!”) The characters are so badly shaped and undeveloped into stereotypes that the movie happily points out as the female kick-ass hottie leader, the hunkie janitor who will save the day…and Earth, “the billionaire scientist who’s a legend only to himself,” the replacement, “the hothead,” and the old man who was bored by science’s inability “to answer the interesting questions, so I turned to philosophy.” Pfarrer and Lemkin do nothing to even try and add a human element to these characters. They’re all lame and hokey. Even the spastic, 180-degree differences of personality of those on “Survivor,” are more desirable than the generic sketches we have here.

The only exposition director Antony Hoffman provides is that this is a big-budget movie that will try to razzle-dazzle you with all of their CGI effects. Effects like these are no longer impressive. It just seems like a big waste of money, especially when they look as fake, or computer animated (versus the realism that was created with the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park) as they do here. The placement of visual effects is not a substitute for a decent story. And despite some brief tension during the last 10 or 15 minutes, this fails to lift this beyond mediocre. Beyond the valley of tread. Beyond boredom with the point of cynosure. Mission to Mars at least tried to prophesize some mythos of its own, but again, it took a more interested approach, a lesser-charted approach, than this unrecycled kitsch.

Final Verdict: C-.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/11/00 11:48:20
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

3/25/18 morris campbell not bad but nothing special 3 stars
11/27/11 AEB Enjoyable flick. Most character in the computer. :) 3 stars
12/01/08 Shaun Wallner Was'nt all that great! 2 stars
2/09/07 David Pollastrini boring, dull, etc. 1 stars
8/27/06 Darko great style, same theme seen in hundreds of movies. worth watching 4 stars
10/07/05 Carolyn Rathburn it was an ok movie, I love Val Kilmer in almost anything 3 stars
8/18/05 ES hey I didn't hate it, but I'm not going to tell you to rent it either 3 stars
2/20/04 Dr. lecter Only good movie set on Mars is Total Recall 1 stars
8/06/03 P.Rodriguez Showed Promise, but ultimately dissapointing 3 stars
3/20/03 May Q. Horney Best of several Mars flicks released around that time. 4 stars
3/01/03 Matt Thiel "Mission to Mars" had a better story and likable characters. But not THAT much better. 2 stars
3/01/03 y2mckay An unmitigated disaster, and WTF is up with that robot dog? Kilmer a hack as usual 1 stars
1/26/03 Jack Sommersby Has a few good moments and performances, but purpose is lacking. 3 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum Good effects, Moss, and still we cannot get the script right 2 stars
8/29/02 Hessian Kilmer and Sizemore work well together in this. Not a bad movie. 4 stars
8/14/02 palaboy101 DEFINITELY better than other "Mars" movies 4 stars
1/29/02 Doug Nothing bad about it, but nothing good either. Just kinda there. 3 stars
1/23/02 Jim Cast of cliches (half of whom are basically cameos) and nonsensical plot, but diverting 3 stars
1/21/02 Spencer Lent Most Mars movies suck. Compared to them this is a masterpiece. 3 stars
10/20/01 Mike I hated the robot! The actors' lines stunk. Bad movie 2 stars
10/10/01 P.Rodriguez Hey. I wasn't THAT bad, just not very good. 4 stars
8/07/01 ted v. forget Mission To Mars, this is definitely the better movie. 5 stars
8/06/01 badfish Great movie,Kilmer is, well,Kilmer 5 stars
7/01/01 Rampage One of the worst movies of 2000. My God, who was in charge here? 1 stars
5/09/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) And I thought Mission to Mars was bad. Fucking a... 1 stars
5/01/01 The Bomb 69 very average 3 stars
3/31/01 Jesse L Pathetic plot - Val!! First time I haven't liked one of your flicks! 1 stars
2/23/01 INCUBATOR Moss is beautiful but the movie is bullshit. Cut the crap, they couldn`t see atmosphere? Ha 2 stars
2/04/01 Eric Good special effects and decent cast is about it. Watch Mission to Mars instead. 2 stars
12/23/00 Bev Clark A derivative piece of shit. 1 stars
12/20/00 Shogun "I'm a microbiologist, I program in A's G's T's and P's." P's? Good fact checking. christ. 1 stars
12/19/00 Thrillhouse one of the lamest freakin' movies I've seen. Save your money. 2 stars
12/14/00 Mr J M HARWOOD Better than PITCH BLACK & MISSION 2 MARS 4 stars
12/09/00 Johnny the Baddass taxi driver It is totally crap. Not worth the 2.50 or 7.50 that you pay to see it. 1 stars
12/08/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Hey let's send everyone involved with this shit to Mars right now. 1 stars
12/03/00 Destruction Worker At least it's not a mindless sfx fest. 5 stars
11/28/00 pipeman The worst fucking movie ever made. Avoid it at all costs. Ack. Ptui. 1 stars
11/18/00 Edward A Leonard What can I say, even Mission to Mars was better, and that sucked ass! 1 stars
11/14/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi I could've had a V-8. 1 stars
11/13/00 poetchuck How fortunate that a high voltage source appears just when needed--not at all believable 2 stars
11/13/00 Zaw We should goto Pluto Next time.. Blue Planet. Just another crappy movie. 1 stars
11/13/00 Stuntman Survivor meets Total Recall 3 stars
11/13/00 Greyjack No, it's not great; it's not horrid either. Interesting premise rendered kinda boring. 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  10-Nov-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2001


  07-Dec-2000 (M)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast