Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2000. Touchstone Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, The Jacobson Company, Red Horizon Productions. Story by Lowell Cannon, Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Screenplay by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Graham Yost. Cinematography by Stephen H. Burum. Produced by Tom Jacobson. Music by Ennio Morricone. Production Design by Ed Verreaux. Costume Design by Sanja Milkovic Hayes. Film Editing by Paul Hirsch.
Slow-moving but gorgeously designed space adventure that undermines its audience by delivering a lame ending after a huge buildup. It concerns the adventure of a crew on a mission to the red planet to save a previous crew of astronauts who were never heard from after landing there. Some have criticized director Brian DePalma’s Kubrickian-ripoff pace as being far too dull, but I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to watch science-fiction that was at least trying for the level of seriousness even if it never really reaches that goal. The film benefits mostly from Ed Verreaux’s stunning production design and a great ensemble supporting cast, who more than make up for Gary Sinise being amiable but not quite satisfying as a heroic leading man (and what is with his eyeliner?). This one is far better than the other Mars movie of the year, Red Planet, if only because it has a true respect for the majestic wonder of outer space.