Rants of a deranged squirrel.

Movie Review: Mission to Mars

[This was originally published on attrition.org.]

Mars is one of the many recent space exploration movies, focused on the exploration/colonization of the planet Mars. The mystical red planet with the oh so famous ‘face‘ that lead people to wonder about ancient alien civilizations. Anyway, on to the movie…

As with any movie remotely technical or displaying technology, it is easy to mock it if it fails to meet up to your expectations of accuracy and believability. This movie went right out the window in the first fifteen minutes. Let me give a prime example.

So this space ship goes from a space station orbiting earth, all the way to Mars, some billion zillion fuckin miles away. The ship arrives at mars, where there is a single other orbiting supply craft (unmanned). Upon arriving, there is a problem which causes the space ship to explode, leaving the passengers in space suits, floating toward the unmanned craft as their only hope of survival. They do it! They make it to this unmanned ship and take control of it, using it to land on the planet to find the settlement that had gone quiet. Now.. suspend logic and common sense.

A rocket scientist back on the orbiting station brings “new data” to the mission commander. He says something like “I don’t get it. The ship disappeared off radar. 63 minutes later, the unmanned craft does a controlled entry and lands on mars. We can’t figure this out!”

Uh, hello? In movies, NASA rocket science doesn’t allow them to put 1 and 1 together.

A few other prime examples of disbelief. Computerized voices need oxygen too! As oxygen dwindles in a space craft, the computer voice giving their countdown to their death falters, as if it too has no oxygen.

Several months in space, three adult males don’t grow facial hair, or we never see them shave. But.. one guy on mars for a few months (living in a small colony with bleeding edge technology) ends up with bushy beard and super fro. Rar!

This movie is a chain of disasters, followed by a chain of amazing rescues taking away from half the movie. After a significant portion of the movie is spent on these near disasters, we get to the good stuff. Alien technology! The last fifteen minutes of the movie are kinda sorta neat in an overdone and sappy way. I think.

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