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This is based on a purely fictional idea that Mars was once populated by humanoid beings and was catastrophically damaged by a comet strike where survivors had to flee to another galaxy in their space ships. The theory was that one of those Martian space ships came to our planet to seed our oceans with their DNA so that evolution would yield people like them to seek them out when they discovered the purpose of the face formation on Mars. although I don't believe in what this fiction, I still enjoy the acting, the props, and the theme of the Movie.
Brian De Palma's "Mission to Mars" focuses on a manned mission to Mars going awry in 2020. The dialogue is at times clunky, but visually the film is a treat (though some of the CGI from 2000 has not aged well). Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, and Jerry O'Connell are all likable in their roles and help save some of the iffy lines through their commitment and likability. The overall plot resembles that of the earlier "2001: A Space Odyssey" or the later "Interstellar" as it explores our place in the solar system and, by extension, the universe. It poses questions about the nature of life and plays with the iconic Martian "face" that the Viking landers photographed in the Cydonia region. While Ridley Scott's "The Martian" and Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" were more scientifically accurate, this is a fun film. Interestingly, "Mission to Mars" came out at the same time as Antony Hoffman's "Red Planet," demonstrating a demand for more realistic science fiction (even if both films were critical flops).
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2019
A fail, but like most De Palma fails, a curious and entertaining one. The story's incomplete and kinda incoherent, like they ripped pages out of a couple of scripts and glued them together with some *really* clunky exposition that must have hurt the cast's mouths to say. By the time it gets to the Face on Mars you have to just give in to the ridiculousness and ride it out. But then, it's De Palma. It's a good cast, though they don't really have characters to play, and Ennio Morricone's score is, like most of his scores, grandly lunatic. If you watch much sci-fi you'll identify where they ripped every scene and idea from. But like all De Palma, the ludicrousness of it all is kinda fun to watch.
Ordered it. Put it in, didn't play. Pulled it out, and guess what, a blank blue ray disc. Nothing on it. Do not buy this product, unless you want to waste your MONEY! Have ordered other videos from AMAZON, no problem. This one is a rip OFF! Since it's a third party company, can't blame AMAZON. DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS THIRD PARTY!
Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2020
I watched this because de Palma has done some good films. I didn't buy it sight unseen because the reviews gave me pause. This is the story of the second Martian Expedition, which was tasked with rescuing the first Martian Expedition even though the chances of anyone still be alive by the time they get there are so small they darn near waste the survivor on sight. Very realistic. Possibly inspired by the "face on Mars" nonsense, this is also a film of First Contact with Space Aliens. I should say that, despite being nonsense, there is nothing wrong with putting it into a film; lots of films have nonsense in them and yet manage to be entertaining. And this might be entertaining ... if you are in the mood to watch a very realistic depiction of space travel and its dangers which is sporadically exciting. Those more attuned to adrenaline rushes, however, may find it a bit bland.
There may not be anything groundbreaking in this film but it tells its tale well and competently. Once we get to Mars the story gets a bit fantastic, but I was fine with that and thought the build up to the resolution and the nature of the resolution fit nicely with the overall theme of the film. Some suspense, some decent tech, and actors who took their roles seriously made this very entertaining.
Love Gary Sinese. I think for the average viewer it might run a bit slow, but that is what made this movie so good for me. Totally loved the ending. Only bad part is when the guy died floating into Mar's atmosphere. The one change I would make in the movie is I would not have killed him off. The love story should have had an happy ending. Maybe the Alien creature on Mars could have saved the astronaut unbeknownst to the others and in the end they could have been brought back together. Much happier ending. Still good movie.
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2020
I did not see this movie in the theater, but, if I had, I would not have felt cheated. On the other hand, I would not have fallen in love with it. I do not regret buying it based on reviews, but three stars is the best I can give it. I think it lacked energy. Even the more exciting scenes struggled for intensity. However, the special effects were very good. The characters were likable, even when the action was dull. Of course, it's just my opinion.
3.0 out of 5 starsNot Quite de Palma's finest....MISSION TO MARS
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2017
The DVD is a good widescreen transfer (bars top and bottom), good clear picture and sound and English subtitles. Director Brian de Palma seems to have had as many failures as successes, and I feel this one falls in between the 2 categories. Some good SFX (the sets are marvellous), the acting is good, but only as good as a somewhat weak script allows. There are no horrors or gore, but quite a few "moments" that make the film a worthwhile watch. (P.S Check out Gary Sinise's makeup towards the end). Plenty of extras for those who enjoy info on the making of the film. Yes, I think I can recomend the film particularly to SciFi fans.
5.0 out of 5 starsScience Fiction at its best - DVD review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2019
This is one of my favourite science fiction films. It has action, adventure and sadness. Sometimes things go wrong for the characters and things don't always turn out as you might hope or expect for them. Some of the science is good and some appalling but at the end of the day it's a film, family entertainment. The story works well for the most part but there is section about in the middle that's clunky and not realistic in anyone's book or film, at least in my opinion. 'Course if you're looking for 'The Right Stuff' or something that isn't science fiction then this isn't the film for you.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2020
not as strong a story as Red Planet - but the "Dance the Night Away" scene is a sci-fi class act. More a sci-fi with a feel good message, like Contact or Sphere. . For a film fan like me, one for the collection and at this price delivered to the door - no brainer - buy it enjoy.
3.0 out of 5 starsUNABLE TO TURN OFF FRENCH SUBTITLES.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2017
The Movie was a good transfer to Blue Ray, but I was Unable to turn off the French Subtitles. This was very distracting when watching the movie. Since the video manufacturer produced this movie with an English Language capability, there is no reason to be forced to watch French Subtitles.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 27, 2015
Love this Movie , it has some great moments and is one of the more believable sci-fi space films out there. Couldn't find it on Blu-Ray but well worth the money for a DVDs (price of a sandwich ) . Don't get me wrong I love a good Alien nasty jumping out of someone's chest or a Scottish Engineer telling the captain that " he canny fix the nay cells" but I liked the change of pace this film brings.