In Red Planet
the only thing thicker than the Martian atmosphere (which is breathable, by the way) is the layer of clichés that nearly smothers a formulaic beat-the-clock plot. Science fiction fans are sure to be forgiving, however, because the film is reasonably intelligent, boasts a few dazzling sequences, and presents fascinating technology in the year 2057.
We don't know how the Mars-1 spaceship gets to Mars in only six months (newfangled propulsion, no doubt), but we do get some cool diagnostic read-outs on tinfoil scrolls, an abundance of well-designed hardware, and a service-robot-turned-villain that's a high-tech hybrid of RoboCop, Bruce Lee, and a slinky panther with plenty of lethal attitude. The oxygen in the Martian atmosphere has resulted from nascent efforts at terraforming, made necessary by Earth's over-polluted condition. Mars-1 has been dispatched to determine why the terraforming is failing, and upon arrival everything goes inevitably haywire. Nearly two hours, three deaths, and multiple crises later (including the discovery of a Martian life form), "space janitor" Val Kilmer and his ultra-competent commander (Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix) have collaborated to set things right, capped off by second dose of the wretched narration that bookends the movie. Hoary material, to be sure, and as a veteran of TV commercials making his feature debut, director Anthony Hoffman is clearly more comfortable with flashy visuals than depth of character. Still, he keeps things humming right along. A perfectly suitable companion to another Y2K sci-fi thriller, Pitch Black, Red Planet is a fine way to kill a couple of hours. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
audio inglese sottotitolato in italianoin un futuro non meglio precisato, la terra agli sgoccioli. l'unica speranza di salvezza per l'umanit sta su marte, il pianeta rosso, dove gli scienziati da lungo tempo progettano di costruire una colonia.