The special effects are not bad.
The science IS bad, and inconsistant, but since this is a movie and not a documentary, so I suppose that's allowable.
I would have loved to see more Terrance Stamp.
The relationships between the crew are not well explained and take unexpected turns here and there. The flashback- oh yeah - this happened - scene to explain the Kilmer-Moss relationship irritated me. Why on earth (or Mars) not show it as it happened - then we might all understand the situation. At times, I was wondering "Why are they acting like this?"
Not bad - SF fans will still like it - keep expectations low.
2. The Core
3. Apollo 13
4. Independence Day
5. Any "beat the clock & save the planet/city" sci-fi flick made since 1990 that I didn't bother watching.
Out of all of these, "Apollo 13" is the best, simply because it's a true story that was made with emotional honesty and a compelling narrative.
Here's everything you need to know about "Red Planet":
-the best actor (Terrence Stamp) the dies first
-Val Kilmer and Carrie-Ann Moss are in it
-plot of "Apollo 13" + wonky environmental pop-science + visuals from "2001" + Mars + a funky robot who goes all "HAL" = "Red Planet"
Plot synopsis: In an attempt to terraform Mars because Earth is so polluted, the "international community" has been seeding Mars with large algae mats to make its atmosphere more human-friendly. Something goes wrong, and a team is dispatched to Mars to investigate. As they enter Mars' orbit, the ship is exposed to a large solar flare, which fries much of its circuitry. Most of the crew go to the Mars surface, with the pilot staying on-board to try to save the ship. The crew jettisons the landing gear and lands, fatally injuring the surgeon/philosopher. The survivors march to a nearby base previously set up by un-manned missions. The base is kaput. One survivor kills another without the others knowing it. They discover that they can breathe the air. The pilot tells them that if they can get to an old unmanned rover several hours away, they can make it back to the ship. Along the way, one survivor goes nuts and is killed by a damaged robot navigator (jettisoned with the landing gear) and some bugs. The biogeneticist figures out why the air is breathable and kills himself before the bugs can eat him. Meanwhile, the pilot has repaired the ship. The lone survivor gets to the rover, fights the robot, steals its battery, and makes it back to the ship. End of story.
There. In 15 sentences (including "end of story"), I have told you THE WHOLE STUPID MOVIE. That's it. There's nothing else to know about this movie.
The premise of the conflict is wholly absurd and serves as the engine of a barely-mediocre flick. In order to make near-future sci-fi compelling. the science must be relatively sound. So here are the two big science stinkers (leaving aside the whole atmosphere issue) that make this movie wholly implausible:
1. There are things called circuit breakers and other safety devices to prevent power surges from frying stuff. All satellites and space equipment using solar panels have these devices and have survived many many solar flares. Why would they build a ship without these precautions?
2. None of the Mars survivors consumed water once they reached the surface. With demanding physical activity and little-to-no atmospheric moisture, they would have died of dehydration sometime during the second march, if not on the first day.
Don't waste your time with this movie. Rent something good. Heck, if you just have to see bad sci-fi, watch "Jason X" - the visuals are just as good, and you'll be much more entertained.
This movie gets 2 stars for graphical competence and having Terence Stamp utter a few lines.
Can I have my money back?
1) Carrie-Anne Moss is great at tomboy-type action roles like this one and shines here.
2) They waste little time on unneeded character development and get right into... Read more