The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

Mission to Mars

When you're hot, you're hot. And right now, Mars is hot.

Hollywood likes hot. So Hollywood and Mars seemed a perfect match. They wanted an exciting, gung-ho adventure that had something, anything, to do with the red planet. So they made Mission to Mars, science be damned!

How bad is it?

Movie Science:

Character A is drifting away in space. Character B uses half of their available fuel to try to get to Character A (saving the other half for the return trip), but it isn't enough, and they turn off their jets and stop and are forced to watch Character A float away from them.


There is no friction in space. If Character B uses a jet to move forward, they will continue to move forward (and therefore catch up to Character A) unless they actually turn the jets on again in the opposite direction.

Movie Science:

The crew must stop the rotation of their ship. So they hit the jets to slow rotation down.


They fired the jets in the wrong direction. The ship should actually have begun to rotate more rapidly.

Movie Science:

In order to get more well-adjusted crews, each flight team has a married couple on board.


You want to send a married couple into space accompanied by two young, virile, straight men who will sit around and happily watch the married couple get it on for over a year while they play with themselves? Good idea. "I haven't had a woman in over a year. The only female within 100,000,000 miles is dating that dung beetle of a captain. Time to doctor someone's space suit."

Movie Science:

Their version of how life on Earth began.


They didn't even mention Atlantis once.

Aside from these and other technical problems with the movie, my main objection was that the movie thought it was so damned important. This is the important moment when we learn a character's motivation. This is the important moment when a character makes an important sacrifice. This is the important moment when a character has an important bowel movement. Even the action sequences are important. Important and slow.

One more thing. The music. In an action movie, or at least a movie that has action and danger in it, music can be used to heighten the experience, get the blood flowing, excite us. Also, as Mission to Mars has proven, it can be used to lull us to sleep. The term "Sweeten it with Strings" was not meant to refer to a climactic action sequence. I'm not sure what the composer was thinking, possibly that there are no drums in space.

OK, now the good stuff.

Hmm. Well it wasn't as bad as Godzilla.

Floating Dr. Pepper is cool. So are floating M&Ms. Actually, floating anything is pretty cool, and there are a lot of floating things in this movie.

I'm giving Mission to Mars 2 Babylons. Hopefully someday Hollywood'll make a really neat movie about going to Mars, but until then, I'll just watch old Marvin the Martian cartoons.

Editor's Note:

Only 2 Babylons for a sci-fi movie? The Critic must be upset that they didn't show any Zero-G sex.

Mission To Mars
Rated: PG
Directed By: Brian De Palma
Starring: Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle, Jerry O'Connell, Connie Nielsen and the color red.

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