200 years in the future a Martian police unit is dispatched to transport a dangerous prisoner from a mining outpost back to justice. But when the team arrives they find the town deserted and some of the inhabitants possessed by the former inhabitants of the planet. Written by
John Carpenter has made a pretty decent living out of directing low-budget action-horror flicks in various sub-genres. A couple of his sci-fi efforts are genuinely good fun. This movie isn't one of them.
Natasha Henstridge has visual appeal, but delivers her lines with all the emotion of a lump of granite. Ice Cube proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is no actor, despite a couple of passable earlier efforts in 'Boyz n the Hood' (1991) and 'Friday' (1995). Jason Statham's character Jericho - supposedly attractive due to his breeding prowess - couldn't get a root in a brothel.
The Martians are about as scary as a good bottle of shiraz... three of which may increase your enjoyment of the movie to a tolerable level. No, make it four. Carpenter doesn't even manage a workable soundtrack... usually one of his strengths. I got really familiar with the bits that were saying: "Go to the fridge and find some munchies. Super-boring bit coming up."
If you want some topnotch Carpenter sci-fi, check out cult favourite 'They Live', either of the 'Escape from...' movies, or mega-classic 'The Thing'. This one, however, deserves a swift and permanent burial.
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