1.0 out of 5 stars
Competition for "Plan 9", May 3 2002
Okay, I will make no comparisons. This movie is bad enough without using good ones to illuminate its failings.
First, the cliches: We have the Survivor, the Ultra-competent Woman, the Expendables (Buddy, Arrogant Jerk, 2 Miscellaneous), and the Villain. We even have a mystery. Except that the Mystery is actually just a plot device to allow the beat-the-clock plotline.
Science-fiction fans will NOT forgive Red Planet's flaws because the movie is not "reasonably intelligent." There are so many painfully glaring errors of science and internal logic that explaining them would almost amount to writing the novelization, but here is a taste:
The beginning voice-over explains that the terraforming had been proceeding well, then the oxygen levels dropped. Later it is discovered that oxygen is present in breathable amounts. Oops.
In order to be breathable, Mars's atmospheric pressure at ground level would have to become almost one THOUSAND times denser (not common knowledge, I admit, but easily found). This change would be visible to Earthbound astronomers, but apparently nobody actually looked at the planet. Oops.
It goes on and on. Good Lord, this movie is pathetic. I bought it, unwatched, because I like Mars that much. Had I known it was even worse than Starship Troopers, I would have saved my money.
It does have neat special effects, though.