Red Planet (2000)

Movie Title: Red Planet

Year Released: 2000

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1h 46min

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Antony Hoffman

Writer: Chuck Pfarrer and Jonathan Lemkin

Starring: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Bratt, Simon Baker, Terence Stamp

Review: Humanity's only hope is a newly developed colony on Mars. A team of astronauts, and the robotic AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Evaluation and Evasion), search for solutions to save a dying Earth. But when the mission go terribly awry, the crew must battle nature and machine before time runs out for all of human-kind.

Red Planet has a all-star cast (Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Bratt, Simon Baker, and the great Terence Stamp) and a simple premise that builds tension, uses actual science, and is not only intelligent, but it's fun too. I really enjoyed spending time on the ol' Red Planet.

Unlike most sci-fi fare of the time, Red Planet is not an over-blown special effects extravaganza and is loaded with explosions and senseless action. Now don't get me wrong, there is action and explosions, but they aid in the storytelling rather than distract from it. It's great to see scientists actually using science to solve problems instead of firing guns and fists at alien antagonists that threaten the very survival of our species.

Red Planet seems like it could have been a remake of a '50s sci-fi flick, just without the giant martian monster to fight in the final act. As much flack as Val Kilmer gets I think he's a great actor and has great screen presence. He's great here, and is surrounded by very talented, likable actors, especially Carrie-Anne Moss as Cpt. Bowman.

So if you're a fan of science, science fiction, murderous robots, Mars, or Val Kilmer with a bleach-blonde buzz cut, then blast off to the Red Planet.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore began feuding during production. According to reports, it all began when Kilmer got annoyed about a fancy exercise machine that Sizemore wanted shipped from England to the set in Australia. Eventually the two hated each other so much, Kilmer would not come out of his trailer if Sizemore was on the set. Many of their scenes together were filmed over the shoulders of photo doubles. Kilmer reportedly refused to say Sizemore's character's name, saying instead "Hey, you!"


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