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Red Planet

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Red Planet

Starring: Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore
Director: Antony Hoffman
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 110 Minutes
Release Date: November 2000
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller

*Also starring: Carrie-Anne Moss, Benjamin Bratt, Simon Baker, Terence Stamp

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows video review
2.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie reviewvideo review
3.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Susan Granger
½ star out of 4

There were two competitive Mars exploration pictures planned for 2000: the dreadful "Mission to Mars" and "Red Planet." When the first tanked at the box-office, the second looked more promising. Wrong! This sci-fi story begins in 2050, when the Earth has been polluted and six astronauts are sent to repair the Mars Terraforming Project for colonization. But when Carrie-Anne Moss, as the mission commander, gets them into orbit, problems occur and a crash-landing leaves her five crewmen stranded without their high-tech equipment. "This is what they told us about it high school," one mutters, "the moment when algebra would save our lives!" Plus, a malfunction in AMEE, their exploration robot, turns it into a stalking, renegade adversary. "AMEE's gone mustang," reports Val Kilmer, who serves as the ship's janitor. The perfunctory, contrived script by Chuck Pfarrer and Jonathan Lemkin is filled with techno-babble about malfunctioning equipment and why the terraforming blue algae was scoured off the planet's surface. Director Antony Hoffman flounders, staging stilted, superficial scenes, squandering the talents of Moss, Kilmer, Terence Stamp, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Bratt and Simon Baker. A feeble attempt at humor occurs when the men urinate and marvel, "You sure get a high arc in low gravity." So much of this project's dramatic potential is squandered: there are no Martians, only tiny, ravenous insects who, conveniently, keep their distance most of the time. Carrie-Anne Moss converses primarily with a computer named Lucille, and even her nude shower scene is a bore. Finally, at the end, she's allowed to haul the hero out of trouble and jump-start his heart. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Red Planet" is a pointless, fumbling 2. Is there a Mars curse?

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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