8 Reasons I think Mission to Mars is the most disappointing movie in recent memory

Alex Spindler

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1. The score - It's like they purposefully set out to find the most inappropriate score possible. It's like if Bernard Hermann reanimated body had been invaded by the spirits of a garage band that just covered nursery rhyme tunes.
2. The acting talent - I had guessed that Gary Sinise was still being brainwashed after his appearance in both Snake Eyes (which isn't nearly as bad as this) and Reindeer Games, but Don Cheadle knows better. Listening to him spout lines like "I was spared. Why? Why?" is cringe inducing. Similarly bad delivery from every single person in this production. I can only be thankful that the alien doesn't speak.
3. The directing - Why DePalma took this one on I will never know. At least SE had some unique elements to it for him to flex his directing muscle (most notably the single cut intro). This one had none of that. Was he attracted to the zero G sections? Was it the ending (shudder)? He does another single take in the beginning for no reason whatsoever, kind of like he couldn't think of anything better to do. I have to consider him to blame for many of the line reading problems.
4. Artificial Suspense Exhibit A - Two of the biggest elements in the movie are dangerous only because the characters are brick headed morons. First there is the killer tornado. In the face of a huge meteorological event the rocket scientists just stand there 10 meters away from it and are somehow surprised when they start dying. I mean, it take some kind of movie to make me long for the grounded nature of Twister. And they make the obvious point of Don Cheadle seeing the inherent danger that they were all facing and he comes off like an ape in the presence of shiny object.
5. Artificial Suspense Exhibit B - The cabin has been ruptured and is losing air. So I think I'm going to shut down WindowsME without bothering to get my helmet. It's not like the ship is suddenly going to regain pressure when he's shut it down. He's basically choosing to die for no reason. If he had just gone for his helmet he would have been able to accomplish the task. Instead he is left gasping for air trying to activate voice activated systems.
6. Realistic or not? Please Choose - They take all the effort to show zero G elements in this movie and then do retarded things like showing M&Ms rotating about an invisible axis. If they are going to work so hard to make it right, why not follow through? Why doesn't their computer detect a fuel pressure loss (something I would imagine would be critical).
7. What were the Martians thinking? So their planet has been torched. And they decide to move from their formerly green planet to some entirely new galaxy when they obviously could see the earth was capable of supporting their DNA. Maybe they have frequent flyer miles to accumulate.
8. So this is what we came here for? All of this effort to see a remarkably disappointing alien. I mean, this is just plain the least enjoyable conclusion I could have imagined. It boggles the mind that they thought anyone would find that acceptable.
Thanks. This has been therapeutic.
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Rain

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Deleted.
Never mind, I was thinking of a different bad outer space movie.
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MOVING ON DOES NOT MEAN FORGETTING.
[Edited last by Rain on October 01, 2001 at 07:06 PM]
 

Tom-G

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So this is what we came here for? All of this effort to see a remarkably disappointing alien. I mean, this is just plain the least enjoyable conclusion I could have imagined. It boggles the mind that they thought anyone would find that acceptable.
That is my biggest complaint about the film. One of the things that made 2001: A Space Odyssey is things were left unexplained--there is an example of great artistic intent. Mission to Mars had a laughable ending. The movie was really dumbed down but at times, the intent seemed to be an appeal to the intellect, so it ultimately failed.
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As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
 

Matty B

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Mission to Mars is the worst movie I've ever seen, bar none. I don't really feel like supporting it other than it was ludicrous. I was EXCITED when characters died.
 

Bruce Hedtke

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5. Artificial Suspense Exhibit B - The cabin has been ruptured and is losing air. So I think I'm going to shut down WindowsME without bothering to get my helmet. It's not like the ship is suddenly going to regain pressure when he's shut it down.
This was one of those things that REALLY annoyed me. Space is a zero air-pressure environment. A vacuum. A hole in the hull would've resulted in an immediate loss of air pressure-en masse. I know they were small holes and all, but the pressure of the air rushing out would've ripped them wide open and very quickly. They contradicted themselves on that point when they showed Tim Robbins committing suicide by taking off his helmet and instantly turning to an airless block of flesh.
Bruce
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SteveGon

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Well....okay. I've been curious about this movie and was considering renting it - my local Hollywood Video has .99 rentals now. Guess it ain't even worth ninety-nine cents, huh?
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He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
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Brad_W

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8 reasons why I think Mission to Mars is one of the few Best DePalma films:
1. The score: Ennio Morricone has done many western soundtracks and this is an interesting change from his norm. The score in a few places (such as the "work the problem" sequence with the repeticious organ) is very remenicant of old sci-fi films which, in my oppinion, is rarely done these days. Also, his use of wind instruments during the final quarter of the film is breath-taking. Plus, this different approach to the score is better than the usual run-of-the-mill scores that are often found in the latest sci-fi films.
2. The acting talent: Though some of the acting, I admit, is not oscar-worthy including with a few bad lines, I enjoyed the interaction between all of the characters and how their dialogue supported each other time and again.
3. The Directing: I enjoyed DePalm's approach to the film using Kubrick's method of long slow shots and sweeping camera motion. I feel this works beautifully with Sci-Fi.
4. Why do people always comment on the one alien shot in films like this? I know many people were disappointed with Contact because they didn't even SHOW the alien. Please keep in mind this "alien" was a holographic image. Though the alien was not a slimey creature or typical "grey," I thought is was an interesting approach to show a non-threatening species where people didn't immediately feel the need to kill the thing. Just my oppinion.
5. I enjoyed the ending because of this: Sinise did what I or other curious people would have done. I'm glad that this was shown because it displayed that enthusiastic exploratory mind-set that people in that field would have.
6. Tim Robbins dies. I'm all in favor of main characters dying in films because it shows the director isn't affraid to show that the main characters are not unstoppable or eternal. It gives a fresh view with more emotion.
7. All problems aside, this movie does a good job at presenting the idea of humans being of extraterrestrial decent.
8. It wasn't Bay's "Armageddon."
This is just my oppinion and take it at that. I do love this film and wish to bring a different idea to someone who dislikes this movie.
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[Edited last by Brad_W on October 01, 2001 at 09:51 PM]
 

Matt Stone

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For all of the haters of this rubbish...thank you. I've been in argument after arguement the last year+ over the fact that I think it is one of the worse films ever. Most people agree it's bad, but they just think that it's alright...for the love of christ this is the worst film I've ever had to sit through at a theater. I remember being psyched to see it, becuase no matter how cheesy it would be, it seemed like a pretty kewl far-out premise ("the key to life on earth...etc")...so I was really geared up to see it. Normally if I'm that excited, I'll always say that it was at least alright to save face, and not make myself look like a moron, but I distinctly remember walking out of the theater and telling people not to see the film. Ahhh...pure rubbish...i can't talk about it without having an anurism..adfjoajsdflajfd.
 

cafink

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I'd like to thank Brad for putting into words my feelings on this film better than I could have. I like it. A lot It's deep. It does have flaws, some of them fairly distracting, but what movie doesn't?
Oh, but I liked "Armageddon" as well. For what it's worth.
 

Gavin K

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quote: "for the love of christ this is the worst film I've ever had to sit through at a theater."
You must have missed out on DePalma's Raising Cain.
The wife rented Mission a while back and it was just awful. The attempts at intellect were squashed by the lame acting and action, and the acting and action turned into boredom by the lame attempts at intellectualism.
 

Kenneth English

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Alex: You hit the proverbial nail on the head. I normally love De Palma's stuff but M2M was just awful (BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES was better
).
BTW: RAISING CAIN was at least obviously intended to be tongue in cheek. M2M takes itself about as seriously as EXORCIST II and comes off looking just as dumb and clueless.
Or, maybe De Palma meant MISSION TO MARS as a parody! Yeah, that's it! It's not a terrible movie at all -- it's actually the most ingeniously subversive satire of the Sci-Fi genre ever committed to film! Yeah...yeah...that's the ticket!
 

Alex Spindler

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Yeah, and Dude, Where’s My Car stands as the most biting political satire of our generation. The kind of movie that Wag the Dog only wishes it could be!
 

Scott H

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Meteorites in space?! Nope. Did they get any details correct?! Nope. Okay, maybe they got something right, but I don't recall what it may have been...
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