Red Planet (2000)
Main cast: Val Kilmer (Robby Gallagher), Tom Sizemore (Dr Quinn Burchenal), Carrie-Anne Moss (Commander Kate Bowman), Terence Stamp (Dr Bud Chantillas), Benjamin Bratt (Ted Santen), and Simon Baker (Chip Pettengill)
Director: Antony Hoffman

The red dunes of Mars must be a warning to all Hollywood producers foolhardy enough to contemplate a movie about it. First Mission To Mars, so universally reviled with such venom that I still didn't dare to watch it, and now Red Planet.

Not that Red Planet is a bad movie. It's just too predictable, boring, and... well, nothing interesting actually happens.

It's 2025 and Earth is so darned polluted that we humans have to see to colonizing Mars for our survival. A space crew is stranded in the - atmosphere? - of Mars and they have to survive before aid reaches them. The key is the answer to a secret as to why attempts at putting life on Mars before seem to be failing. Huge monsters? Evil Emperor Ming's dastardly handiwork?

Trouble is, I've seen this movie before. The valiant, underkeyed hero, the spunky female commander he secretly loves, the joker, the coward, the mystic guru... the adventure unfurls with the usual spats, rescues, reconciliations, and a kiss at the end. And oh, Val Kilmer seems to be sleepwalking in this movie. Is it me or his acting seems more comatose with each movie he's in?

Red Planet is a much welcome addition to the sci-fi video market, even if it is an expensively-made, beautiful one. It's just that, well, I've seen this movie before, I've known the characters a million times before, and no matter how exciting the cliffhanger scenes can be, I'm bored.

Rating: 72

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