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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Sci-Fi films in recent years
There are many things to reccommend Red Planet. Obviously the film looks fantastic. Mars looks so real and the whole look of Red Planet is very slick. One of my favourite scenes Zero Gravity Fire has Carrie-Anne Moss battling a fire on board the space ship. The special effects are marvellous and the looks amazing as the fire is sucked out into outer space. Val Kilmer...
Published on 7 Sep 2001 by kevintebb78

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good B-series flick
A number of previous reviewers were disappointed by Red Planet. I wasn't. Of course, for die-hard SF fans (which I am not), fond of faster-than-light travel, intergalactic laser battles, indestructible monsters etc. the movie looks a bit pedestrian.

Red Planet is more of an adventure flick than your typical SF blockbuster. I found the plot quite believable, the...
Published on 14 Nov 2006 by Down 3 greens


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good B-series flick, 14 Nov 2006
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
A number of previous reviewers were disappointed by Red Planet. I wasn't. Of course, for die-hard SF fans (which I am not), fond of faster-than-light travel, intergalactic laser battles, indestructible monsters etc. the movie looks a bit pedestrian.

Red Planet is more of an adventure flick than your typical SF blockbuster. I found the plot quite believable, the technology fairly realistic (including "smart" extra-vehicular suits and a lander inspired by both the Apollo Lunar Module and the more recent unmanned probes) and the acting performances very decent. Val Kilmer's acting is quite subdued (you may at first wonder if he really is the main character), and the whole cast fill their roles well. Special effects are excellent yet unobtrusive (the zero-G fire and the "landing" scenes are quite impressive), while the depiction of the Martian surface is visually stunning and very close to reality. That, in fact, may be why SF fans generally didn't like the movie: it must have been too... believable. Apart from some gadgets, most of the technology displayed in Red Planet is already with us (or just around the corner), so it doesn't look like the 32nd Century or so. Yes, the storyline might be predictable at times, but it is still a good B-series flick, with no great pretence to be anything else. I'd call it a B+ series movie, and a good way to spend 100 minutes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Sci-Fi films in recent years, 7 Sep 2001
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
There are many things to reccommend Red Planet. Obviously the film looks fantastic. Mars looks so real and the whole look of Red Planet is very slick. One of my favourite scenes Zero Gravity Fire has Carrie-Anne Moss battling a fire on board the space ship. The special effects are marvellous and the looks amazing as the fire is sucked out into outer space. Val Kilmer gives a good performance in the lead role as he battles against time, the elements and AMEE the malfunctioning multi purpose robot. Red Planet although far-fetched is an intelligent Sci-Fi film and it was good to see NASA's mars lander from 1997 make an appearance. Parts of this film seem to have been greatly inspired by Stanley Kubricks 2001. Most obvious is the case of the crews damaged robot Amee who when she hears that she is to be shut down tries to kill the crew. This seems quite similar to 2001's HAL. This isn't really a bad thing though as 2001 was probably the best sci-fi film ever, and whilst this Red Planet doesn't reach those heights it is still a damn fine film in its own right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthy failure, 27 July 2001
By 
C BIRD (South Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Like the thematically similar 'Pitch Black', 'Red Planet' is a visually superb but poorly plotted sci-fi piece of hokum that will entertain but leave you with a feeling that this could have been significantly better if all concerned had tried harder or had been given more freedom. The look of the the film is outstanding, with CGI melding with live action and props/costumes to give a classy (but not stunning) picture of a state-of-the-art space mission in the mid-21st century. However, the plot is as typically lazy as the rest of the special FX popcorn fare of the last decade. Characters are thinly fleshed out and then casually disposed of at regular intervals to provide some sort of momentum (and filler!) towards Val Kilmer's big final show-down with the mission's psychotic service robot(!). There is much to like about this flick, however, as Carrie-Anne Moss shows the quality for this sort of thing she showed in 'The Matrix' and Kilmer makes a decent hero against a solid cast. Worth a place in the sci-fi fanboy's collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Popular actors, standard formula, and passes time well, 15 May 2005
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
If you are looking for some exotic space creature like Sigourney Weaver, or even Jane Fonda. Then this is not the movie for you. The closest it comes to this is the obligatory shower scene. If you are looking for big ugly killer creatures or space pirates, again this movie is not for you.
What this movie does contain are the popular actors of this time. One popular actor included but overlooked in a lot of reviews is Benjamin Bratt ...Ted Santen, who shows up again in "Miss Congeniality" (2000)where he seems to have gotten a much higher rating.
The movie is formula with the standard mix of personalities. The Mission is like all the others. There is a compelling need to go to Mars. Naturally disaster strikes. Some sacrifice some good guys, maybe some bad guys, a few anticipated suppress, and AMEE knows the way to a man's hart.
The DVD has some outtakes that you may find enhances the film and then again the scenes may have been taken out for good reason. There is no running commentary. I am not going to transliterate the story. If you watch it for fun then you should not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Spiders... er, roaches of Mars (spoiilers), 24 Feb 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
As far as the movies are concerned, Mars is cursed. Almost every movie set on the red planet has been a complete flop.

Unsurprisingly, "Red Planet" belongs to that pack of awful Mars movies. However, it is somewhat better than the typical bad Mars movie, since it basically follows the typical monster-movie formula with no pretensions of being anything new or special. The only problem is a single, massive plot hole that sucks out the center of the movie... which is oxygen-pooping bugs that literally come from nowhere.

Since Earth is hopelessly overpopulated and polluted, humanity has begun terraforming Mars. For the past twenty years, they have been sending bioengineered algae to Mars -- but then the oxygen levels start dropping, and nobody knows why. So the first manned mission sets off for Mars, led by Commander Kate Bowman (Carrie-Ann Moss) and populated by the usual baffling mix of weirdos, hotheads and a space janitor (Val Kilmer).

But when things predictably go horribly wrong on the ship, most of the crew ends up stranded on the surface of Mars, with dwindling oxygen supplies. Also, their exploratory robot has gone into "battle mode," meaning that it's going to kill then in a few hours. But the greatest threat comes what has been targeting the algae: omnivorous space cockroaches!

You can tell that "Red Planet" is a clunker right from the opening scenes, where Moss' voiceover awkwardly tries to cram all the movie's backstory, setup and characterization into a five-minute monologue. It's as if the opening text crawl of "Star Wars" also included summaries of the important characters ("Han Solo is a rogue with a heart of gold") so it wouldn't be necessary to actually develop them.

And sadly, the rest of the movie is not much better -- it feels less like a finished Hollywood movie than a first draft of the script that somehow got rushed into production. Admittedly, this is better than other bad Mars movies like "Ghosts of Mars" or "Mission to Mars," mainly because it has no illusions about what it is about. This is basically a monster movie set on Mars, and can be brainless fun at times.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't suffer from major problems -- massive continuity errors (so the bugs poop oxygen... and yet oxygen levels are DROPPING?), dropped plot threads and head-slappingly stupid ideas. Seriously, why does an EXPLORATORY ROBOT need a battle simulation mode? And some parts of the story -- like the tortured theological musings or the romance that literally comes out of nowhere -- feel like they were stuck in just to fill up space.

But the biggest flaw in the movie is the Martian insects, which seemed to have simply popped into existence because the plot says so. Nobody ever questions WHERE they came from or WHAT they ate before the algae arrived -- they're just THERE.

All of the characters have just enough depth to blow away in the wind, and the actors are either not trying or misused. Carrie-Ann Moss does little except yell at wall panels and get naked occasionally, and Val Kilmer seems only vaguely interested in what's going on. Most of the other characters are more or less interchangeable, and it's easy to forget which one is which.

The tragedy of "Red Planet" is that, had it been polished, it could have been a decent popcorn flick. But the hideously contrived opening, the massive plot holes and the basic continuity errors make it painful. At least the robot is cool-looking.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity, 16 July 2006
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Like De Palmas dreadful "Mission to Mars", "Red Planet" has all the ingredients of a Sci-Fi epic but fails to deliver. Unlike "Mission to Mars" which attempted to go for excessive plausibility in supporting its missing presumed dead storyline "Red Planet" swings the opposite way with weak characterisation, trite dialog and some poor performances.

Val Kilmer is not miscast, however, his cartoon-like character should not have been involved in such a mission. Carry-Anne Moss as Bowman, the commander of the mission, demonstrated no command strengths except perhaps yelling and seemed to be little more than eye candy with her tendency to take her clothes off - hardly a strong female lead and certainly not much of a role model. Other characters played by Benjamin Bratt, Tom Sizemore, Simon Baker and Terence Stamp were bland and interchangeable.

The idea was sound I suppose, the idea of terraforming using algae to convert the atmosphere to a more earthlike mix, the concept of earth becoming too crowded and polluted etc etc. A little hackneyed yes, but it was the most interesting part of the movie. A combination survey/combat robot? Well of course it was going to go nuts and start moulinexing its way through the crew - cliched and overused in so many other films.

Overall it came out as a weak movie that appeared to set high standards for itself and then failed to reach them. I give this movie three stars for its setting as Mars did look pretty good, and for the use of the algae idea.

I was looking for a serious plausible movie and didn't find it, but had I been looking for a semi-serious sci-fi road movie I might have enjoyed it. If all you want is a simple space movie with a little action and excitement then perhaps you'll get more out of this than I did.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Soporific space opera, 3 Feb 2004
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Every astronaut on NASA's team must have blushed with shame at seeing this pitiful rendition of their abilities. Set on a partially "terra-formed" Mars, so that the stranded team doesn't have to wear EVA helmets for the length of this tedious film, five men - quickly pared down to three, then two, then . . . struggle to survive. As if the lack of food, water and story line weren't enough, there's a rabid rover that strives to do them in. In a sense, the rover is the only one with any acting ability. Its quick-change mode of operation, baleful countenance and dedication to destruction at least provide it focus. The humans, by contrast, fumble about the landscape, perform feats of derring-do, sink into sloughs of despair and surrender to base instincts. All the while trying to convince us they are real people.
Is there one heroic figure? Ah, yes! Far above struggles [what else] the heroinic mission commander [i'm not making this up!] of the expedition, Carrie-Anne Moss. Not reachable by AMMEE the Rampant Robot, C-AM must emulate Sigourney Weaver's role in her efforts to subdue a recalcitrant space ship. C-AM has the help Sigourney lacked in the voice of the ship's computer. Sultry, soothing, empowering, this computer voice REALLY communicates. What its technical abilities are remain a mystery throughout the film. Perhaps the best dialogue of the film is C-AM and the computer arguing. Sigourney would be as embarrassed as those
NASA astronauts.
There's little chance this review can give away much about the plot. There's so little of one, and the elements are cadged from a multitude of sources any SF fan will recognise in moments. To call the performances wooden is to insult whole forests. Speculative Fiction has enough of a quest achieving mainstream acceptance without disasters like this setting back the genre further. There are countless stories out there awaiting filming - a Canadian author's work comes immediately to mind. Come North, Hollywood, where real tales abound. But please don't take our lumber, put it in front of a camera, and call it acting. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Popular actors, standard formula, and passes time well., 1 Dec 2002
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
If you are looking for some exotic space creature like Sigourney Weaver, or even Jane Fonda. Then this is not the movie for you. The closest it comes to this is the obligatory shower scene. If you are looking for big ugly killer creatures or space pirates, again this movie is not for you.
What this movie does contain are the popular actors of this time. One popular actor included but overlooked in a lot of reviews is Benjamin Bratt ...Ted Santen, who shows up again in "Miss Congeniality" (2000) where he seems to have gotten a much higher rating.
The movie is formula with the standard mix of personalities. The Mission is like all the others. There is a compelling need to go to Mars. Naturally disaster strikes. Some sacrifice some good guys, maybe some bad guys, a few anticipated suppress, and AMEE knows the way to a man's hart.
The DVD has some outtakes that you may find enhances the film and then again the scenes may have been taken out for good reason. There is no running commentary. I am not going to transliterate the story. If you watch it for fun then you should not be disappointed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The most unbelievable science fiction film of our time!, 2 Aug 2004
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Everybody knows to ask me questions about Science when we are playing Trivial Pursuit. After all, I never even took biology, let alone chemistry or physics, in high school. But even little old ignorant me knows that there are some major mistakes that needed to be corrupted in "Red Planet," a film which will make thousands of viewers stop laughing at 1950's science fiction movies about traveling to distant planets. No, I will not start ticking them off for you, simply because "Red Planet" is one of those incredibly bad movies that you can still have fun watching, although it is certainly not the "Plan 9 From Outer Space" for the 2001 generation.
Of course, you do not need to know anything about hard science to find the flaws in this film. As soon as you find that Carrie-Anne Moss is the space babe in charge of the mission and Val Kilmer is the guy she really does not want to have along, the possibilities of how bad things can get become painfully apparent. Then there is the cute little navigation robot that goes big time bad just to make things even worse and add some splatter flick elements to the mix. Add to this the fact that the screenwriters never met a coincidence they did not like and you have to believe that Terrence Stamp's character made up that bit about the ruptured spleen just to get out of this film as quick as possible.
Now, I am open to the possibility that there are those who will actually like this film as a piece of "serious" science fiction, and I mean besides the producers of this film. My suggestion would be to go for the obvious double-feature, screening "Red Planet" and "Mission to Mars" back-to-back and decide for yourself which is the more fantastic (i.e., unbelievable) science fiction film. Not since "Babe" and "Gordy" came out at the same time have we been given the chance to split the film viewing audience into such clearly divided sides. Remember to make lots of popcorn so you have something to do other than yell "Oh, give me a break!" at the screen over and over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad,seriously bad!, 20 April 2014
This review is from: Red Planet [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Will not say anything about the plotline,that has been adequately described by others,this is quite simply one of the worst films that you will ever see if you do watch it It is so so bad,it is almost unbelievable just how bad I sat transfixed,mesmerised by it for all the wrong reasons Do not waste your time or money on it I absolutely love sci-fi,but this is just about the worst film that I have seen in any genre
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