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My favourite "Guilty Pleasure." So daft it's brilliant.,
This review is from: Mission to Mars [DVD]  (DVD)
No point in arguing. I reluctantly concede this film might be pants.
However... I paid with my wife at the cinema loving every minute a decade ago.
I have watched on DVD more than 50 times.
I still don't even switch channels during a broadcast ruined with adverts. WHY???
Because it is Science-Fiction drenched with "feel-good" nonsense in a simple under-complicated plot.
M TO M begs you to suspend belief - if not cold reality, in favour of an idealised world of buddy-hood in space that defies logic for the sake of an old fashioned happy ending. You have to stretch your imagination to the limit, to cover the gaping plot holes wide-enough to land the ship in.
Er-hem, er-hem! Would Mr De Palma please care to explain himself over the following exemplary matters:-
HUSBAND & WIFE CREWS - The reason we don't have them is you'd get arguments or babies or both. None of which would be worth risking 18 months sealed inside an interplanetary caravan.
MACRO-METEOROIDS - You either fix this one at the design stage, or you send robot crews - end of. The film itself demonstrates ably how bloody dangerous they are!
MARS RECOVERY (rescue) VEHICLE - It takes a fully fuelled multiple stage space vehicle complete with life support, to get four crew to Mars, yet three of them plus the magic "Nav-boards" blast off 93 million miles for home in a clapped out washing machine?
THE MARTIANS - So intelligent they leave technological playthings light years ahead of our 20th century, yet when faced with an extinction level event somehow turned down the easy option of taming "EARTH, before the continents separated..." in favour of a trip beyond the nearest stars??? Hypersleep? Worm Holes? Extra-Terrestrials? MACRO M-E-T-E-O-R-O-I-D-S ?????
Here you get SCI-FI from the Doris Day era (complete with Sunday Matinee music score), but therein lies the attraction if only for the break from what has become the routine. When I was young(er) we looked upward with imagination because our dreams were too complex to figure out appropriate questions let alone the right answers.
Films like Forbidden Planet - 50th Anniversary 2 Disc Special Edition  [DVD] , The Day The Earth Caught Fire [DVD] , When Worlds Collide [DVD] enthused and scared us in equal measure because the underlying science was an unknown. If there were an unbroken timeline between these and the 21Century, MISSION TO MARS just might belong at the other end of it. But we amassed more knowledge during the last 30 years than in the whole of human history that passed before them and everything we now know extinguishes all but the least interesting aspects of life in Outer Space, to the cold reality of logic - There's just no point.
2001: A Space Odyssey (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] , Silent Running [DVD],Alien [DVD] Moon [DVD] et al, all supreme but depressingly, if correctly reduce life among the stars to being as attractive as a three year stretch on board an oil rig.
MISSION TO MARS is a lavish daydream. Unable to withstand the credible juggernaut of science, it cowers in the corner under the weight of factual blows...only to pop its head up, grinning from ear to ear laughing "Yeah...but what if?"