When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting an unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.
Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose two hundred fifty thousand dollars, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City, and comedy follows.
When a mysterious storm kills all but one crew member of the first manned mission to mars, a rescue mission is launched. Once on the red planet, the crew finds the sole survivor of the first mission who informs them that this was no ordinary storm. It was meant to protect something. But what?Written by
The Mars Recovery vehicle is shown pointing forward before it attempted to go into orbit. Any spacecraft would have to point backwards, and thus slowdown, to enter orbit. See more »
The genetic difference between men and apes is only three percent. But that three percent gave us Einstein, Mozart...
...Jack The Ripper.
See more »
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's cooperation and assistance does not reflect an endorsement of the contents of the film or the treatment of the characters depicted therein. See more »
Ma 'Tit Fille
Written by Buckwheat Zydeco (as Stanley Dural, Jr.)
Performed by Buckwheat Zydeco
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets See more »
Visually, "Mission to Mars" is stunning. Nobody tells a story better with pictures than De Palma. The scenic design and photography kept me riveted to every frame. On the recommendation of a friend, I watched the movie in widescreen on DVD using a high resolution monitor. The visuals are so important that I cannot imagine watching a pick and scan version on a conventional TV set. Too much would be lost that way.
The scene, early in the movie, where one of the Mars astronauts gets blown up made me levitate. Also, I though Tim Robbins' and Connie Nielsen's weightless dance in the spaceship on the way to Mars was lovely. The scene with the startling all white surroundings that the astronauts faced in the "faceship" (to coin a phrase) was also well done.
I thought the performances were uniformly excellent. That fact and the wonderful visuals overcame sometimes excruciatingly bad dialogue so that it did not really detract from my enjoyment of the film. That being said, though, I loved the exchange where it was observed by one character that the mere three per-cent difference between the genetic makeup of men and apes "gave us Einstein, Mozart" and a second character adds, "Jack the Ripper."
Some reviewers complained about the similarity of the film to "2001," but that is exactly what De Palma had in mind, I think. "Mission to Mars" pays homage to every sci-fi cartoon and movie ever made, from Buck Rogers to "Close Encounters," and does it well. Anyway, De Palma proved to me again that he really does march to his own drummer. I was hugely entertained and highly recommend this film -- but only if you watch it in widescreen on DVD or, better still, in a theater. Eight out of ten.
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