Mission To Mars
Reviewed by David Kashimba

Mission To Mars, directed by Brian De Palma and produced by Tom Jacobson, plays more like a daytime television soap opera than an outer space thriller. As the characters are introduced, we discover that astronaut Jim McConnell (Gary Sinise) is going through a real downer because he recently watched his astronaut wife Maggie (Kim Delaney) waste away with what we assume was cancer. Unlike most action films that briefly touch on a personal tragedy and then concentrate on showing how the character moves on, De Palma chooses to linger on this trauma and milk every tear he can.

In true soap opera form, he spends a lot of time showing the loving relationship of another man/woman astronaut team. Woody Blake (Tim Robbins) and his significant other Dr. Terri Fisher (Connie Neelson) spend a lot of time kissing and dancing together in weightless abandon just so her tears can be milked in an endless tear-jerking scene where Woody gives his life to save hers.

But the trail of tear-jerking schmaltz doesn't end there. Even the aliens get into the act, crying for their comrades who had to abandon colonization of Mars after some unexplained catastrophic event.

In addition to plenty of sobs and heartaches, the film has the same slow repetitive pace that daytime soaps are famous for. Though the film does have a few nice special effects, they're washed out by the tears, sappy lines and a few cheap shots that seem to be lifted from the old Buck Rogers TV show.

I can't honestly recommend this film to anyone. Even if you like some of the talented actors starring in Mission To Mars, you'll only feel embarrassed that they wasted their time on such nonsense. Don't even wait for the video. This film will be on daytime television before Mars does one rotation around the sun.

Current / Touring / Archives / Links / Film / Video / Links / Home