Set in the future, and faced by a dying planet, Man’s only hope seems to be the colonization of Mars. Hence a team of highly specialized astronauts set out with this mission in mind. The task is arduous: besides facing continual conflicts due to their diverse personalities and ideologies, their equipment also suffers great damage. On the unfriendly surface of Mars they must remain united in order to survive as they grapple with the deadly secrets of an unknown planet.
The plot is extremely weak; coupled with an unimpressive screenplay and a nonexistent storyline, the film remains fairly predictable as a whole. Directed in a depressingly mediocre style, it hardly deviates, right down to the trademark soppy ending.
The characters remain underdeveloped despite the vast number of opportunities available and the material at hand. Even the acting disappoints - though Val Kilmer seems to have tried his best, Carrie-Anne Moss (of "The Matrix" fame) is particularly bad.
On a more positive note, the special effects are excellent (the spaceship scenes are technically brilliant), and the soundtrack is also pretty good. The film has managed to portray the arid red planet is a fairly realistic manner.
Definitely not worth your time...unless you’re one of those die-hard sci-fi freaks who have to see every single sci-fi movie, regardless of quality, give this one a miss!This article was first published on 31 Jan 2001.