Mission To Mars (2000)

(In theaters, March 2000) A perfect example of what is colloquially known as the “Stupid Hollywood Sci-Fi Blockbuster”. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s really extremely accomplished in technical matters. Even the actors do a really good job. But, characteristically, the script is truly awful, filled with obvious lines you can predict, sudden character shift, silly science and one of the most awful saccharine ending in recent memory; how can you top the cheap-CGI weeping alien, or the let’s-hold-hands-around-the-planet-and-sing-Kumbaya silliness? As with Armageddon, one could built an entire presentation around the bad science in this film, but unlike Armageddon, it’s unlikely that one will manage to enjoy Mission To Mars on a purely visceral level: Uncharacteristically, Brian de Palma’s direction is limp, obvious and mostly without pep. The consistently inappropriate score only highlights the failures of the film at providing excitement. Savvy Viewers ready to give chances to Mission To Mars (after all, for each four or six stupid things, it usually gets one crucial detail right, like the zero-gee effects) will probably give up after the laugh-aloud finale, and rightfully rank this as one of the worst big films of 2000.

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