The movie takes place 20 years in the future. Not that there is anything in the movie that makes it seem 20 years into the future. But I actually like that. I personally feel that 20 years from now, life won't be too different from what it is now. But that's another conversation for another day. NASA is planning a mission to Mars to look for any signs of life, but also to see if human life could survive there as well. When the first crew gets there, they find something that will ultimately end up changing life as we know it forever. But something goes wrong, and a second crew is sent to Mars on a rescue mission. Along the way there are a series of mishaps that endanger the crew before they land on the surface of Mars. The second crew needs to find the members of the first crew, fix the escape vehicle, and take off for Earth before a huge sand storm engulfs the red planet for a year.
Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise and Don Cheadle lead the cast of characters. Little is said of each character, except for Sinise's. His wife has recently passed away, and he thinks his chances of living his dream of getting to Mars is dashed. But a twist of fate ends up making him go to Mars and beyond. The movie seemed to take off very quickly. First there was a party, then they were on Mars. No set up about the trip, the logistics, nothing. Just all of a sudden the first crew was on Mars. While on Mars they discover something that many of us thought wasn't real, but it turns out, is very real. Then the second crew is sent on its way. This trip was more of what I expected. Showing scenes of life inside the ship (remember, the trip to Mars take 6 months). Showing scenes of things going wrong, which is bound to happen on any ship NASA send to Mars these days. And then having a sequence that I thought was extremely cool, with the crew floating around in outer space with the giant red planet just beneath them. Once on the planet things become more serious and intellectual, and also very cheesy. I don't want to go into detail about what happens to them because I think that would ruin the end of the film, but while I enjoyed what happened, and I loved the visual effects and the human life theory that espouse, I also felt there was a certain cheese factor that could have been taken out. Too lovey-dovey for my liking.
The previews, especially the more recent ones, make the movie look like it's going to be an action-adventure film. But all the action sequences, for the most part, are shown in the trailers. What is actually in the movie is more serious. The movie makes you think about what you would do if a loved one was in a life or death situation. It makes you think about the evolution of life and whether or not there is life on Mars. But there is no giant alien battling it out with Earth for supremecy of the Universe. There is no Will Smith cameo as he destroys alien ships. What you do get is a solid movie with cool special effects that will also make some people become bored. This isn't the mindless sci-fi entertainment we've come to love, it's more of an intellectual sci-fi story, rather than sci-fi adventure. I enjoyed it, but I'm a sucker for anything dealing with outer space and space theory. So overall I'd just remember when going to see Mission to Mars, don't expect a lot of action on screen, just in your mind.
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Mission to Mars
The Sixth Sense
DVD - $17.99
CD Soundtrack - $12.99