Projections - Movie Reviews

Red Planet Red Planet

Red Planet is a film about the future demise of Earth, the human ability to survive and the ability to take a good idea and make a bad movie.

Like Mission to Mars and Battlefield Earth, Red Planet is unsure of exactly what “it” wants to be.  It starts out as a space drama, moves to a possible love story and then to a survival film.  It is unfortunate that none of these plots are played to their potential.

Val Kilmer (Love at First Sight, Gun, Heat) is the lead and for what seems like an eternity meanders through this film trying to keep it alive with a boyish charm and dry wit.  Benjamin Bratt (TV’s Law & Order), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan), Carrie-Ann Moss (The Matrix), Simon Baker and Terrence Stamp round out the cast, but all are given such one dimensional characters, you will quickly forget them when you leave the theater.

A brief synopsis of Red Planet is as follows:

Man has polluted Earth; man has seeded Mars with oxygen producing algae; plan looks good; plan goes sour; heroes sent to the rescue; disaster occurs; minimal survivors escape; Earth may still have a chance.

Red Planet could have been a good film if one plot had been followed or the characters been allowed to develop or the special effects had been just that - special.  The twists are expected with the plot having been done before and done better.

Director Anthony Hoffman (Budweiser commercials) made an effort to keep you attracted to the screen with basic special effects and a cast of  “beautiful” people.  He will soon learn that is not enough to make a film.  Production director and director of photography come from a pedigree of previous films, but must have been shackled by a poor script and budget sucked dry by star payrolls.

We can only hope that in the near future we can see a film about Mars that will make the leap to the new millennium, thrill us, force us to think of our planet, make us think of new possibilities and, most importantly, entertain us.

Red Planet

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