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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.73%
Worth A Look: 10.91%
Just Average: 21.82%
Pretty Crappy40.91%
Sucks: 23.64%

11 reviews, 44 user ratings

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Red Planet
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by WilliamPrice

"Bring oxygen if you want to remain conscious to the end."
1 stars

This would-be sci-fi opus seems as if it was written by a reluctant schoolboy for the sole purpose of passing his 9th grade writing class. Contrived plot devices and faulty characterizations abound, but the real problem is the creatorís complete lack of genuine interest or involvement in his work. How does this kind of crap get made into a movie? What mindless, noxious force choose to animate this corpse of an idea, driving before it a host of actors, artists and technicians like so much cattle, and leaving in its wake the legions of hapless moviegoers who, not only deprived of their precious time and money, have been made spiritually poorer by exposure to this pointless veneration of tedious ennui?

The basic plot elements of Red Planet are ripped off from the Russian epic Planetaburg (1962), with Mars substituted for Venus. The female crew-member remains in orbit while the fellas go planet side and deal with getting lost and a robot gone haywire, while spouting philosophy. In Red Planet, the stakes are upped by having the fate of Earth rely on their ability to find out what went wrong with the terra-forming operation on Mars. It also takes a more in grim approach along the lines of croaking off most of its main characters.

The movie begins with a lame duck voice-over, and we know immediately that we are in trouble. The visual design flip-flops randomly between Alien rip-off and 2001 rip-off as we are introduced to a mumbling cast of non-entities meant to pass for the shipís crew. Supposedly they have been in space together for the last 100-plus days, but they seem like indifferent college students trapped together in study hall for the last 5-plus minutes. The actorís level of involvement in their craft is nil; their characterís level of involvement in their situation is nil; the direction is intolerably lax and our beloved writer, the sultan of superficiality, is presumably off by the pool having a frosty.

No such luck for us. After a vacuous philosophical argument and a brief nudie shower scene, itís off to land Mars. Oh, of course a mean old solar flare hits the mother ship just about then, so stranded Carrie-Anne Moss will have something to do. Natch, she pulls a Ripley, arguing with the female computer and flick-flick-flicking buttons on the ceiling in her teasey cotton tee.

Planet side, the boys crash land and start a-fighting and a-dieing without ever raising their voices above a mumble. Donít forget the CGI critter AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Exploration and Evasion), whoís sanity quickly evades him. Besides which our heroes are running out of oxygen. And the relief station has been destroyed. Not good.

Getting out of this mess, and into new, more absurd fixes, will take some preposterous plot twists; luckily thereís no shortage there. You can bet that the believe-o-meter hits zero long before the credits roll on this turkey.

To be sure, there are some decent effects. Australian terrain shot with a filter makes for a cool Mars. The CGI effects (the outer-space scenes and AMEE) are detailed and engaging. The trouble is they donít provoke an emotional response or blend into a coherent whole. No atmosphere is created because there is no atmosphere to create.

In the end, itís not the effects, the plot holes or the slum acting that make this film suck; nor is it the cheesy, techno-wimp score. Itís because the whole damn thing is more lifeless than the planet Mars itself. It has no spark, no passion, no reason to exist. In case youíre wondering, Iím not recommending it.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4304&reviewer=407
originally posted: 08/23/05 19:44:25
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User Comments

3/24/18 morris campbell not bad but nothing special 3 stars
11/26/11 AEB Enjoyable flick. Most character in the computer. :) 3 stars
11/30/08 Shaun Wallner Was'nt all that great! 2 stars
2/08/07 David Pollastrini boring, dull, etc. 1 stars
8/27/06 Darko great style, same theme seen in hundreds of movies. worth watching 4 stars
10/06/05 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
2/19/04 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
2/28/03 Matt Thiel "Mission to Mars" had a better story and likable characters. But not THAT much better. 2 stars
2/28/03 y2mckay An unmitigated disaster, and WTF is up with that robot dog? Kilmer a hack as usual 1 stars
1/25/03 Jack Sommersby Has a few good moments and performances, but purpose is lacking. 3 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Good effects, Moss, and still we cannot get the script right 2 stars
8/28/02 Hessian Kilmer and Sizemore work well together in this. Not a bad movie. 4 stars
8/13/02 palaboy101 DEFINITELY better than other "Mars" movies 4 stars
1/28/02 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
10/19/01 Mike I hated the robot! The actors' lines stunk. Bad movie 2 stars
10/09/01 P.Rodriguez Hey. I wasn't THAT bad, just not very good. 4 stars
8/06/01 ted v. forget Mission To Mars, this is definitely the better movie. 5 stars
8/05/01 badfish Great movie,Kilmer is, well,Kilmer 5 stars
6/30/01 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
3/30/01 Jesse L Pathetic plot - Val!! First time I haven't liked one of your flicks! 1 stars
2/22/01 INCUBATOR Moss is beautiful but the movie is bullshit. Cut the crap, they couldn`t see atmosphere? Ha 2 stars
2/03/01 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
12/19/00 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
12/18/00 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
12/08/00 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
12/02/00 Destruction Worker At least it's not a mindless sfx fest. 5 stars
11/27/00 pipeman The worst fucking movie ever made. Avoid it at all costs. Ack. Ptui. 1 stars
11/17/00 Edward A Leonard What can I say, even Mission to Mars was better, and that sucked ass! 1 stars
11/13/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi I could've had a V-8. 1 stars
11/12/00 poetchuck How fortunate that a high voltage source appears just when needed--not at all believable 2 stars
11/12/00 Zaw We should goto Pluto Next time.. Blue Planet. Just another crappy movie. 1 stars
11/12/00 Stuntman Survivor meets Total Recall 3 stars
11/12/00 Greyjack No, it's not great; it's not horrid either. Interesting premise rendered kinda boring. 3 stars
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  10-Nov-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2001


  07-Dec-2000 (M)

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