When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors. Exciting and realistic, MISSION TO MARS is the inspirational story of the astronauts of the hurried Mars Recovery mission, the almost insurmountable dangers that confront the heroic crew on their journey through space, and the amazing discovery they make when they finally reach the Red Planet.
This film's visual design is spectacular, and the scenes on the Martian surface look so real that the picture could have been made on location. But the movie is undermined by Brian De Palma's uncharacteristic wet-eyed awe. All this addled sincerity comes from trying to create wonderment for adults, growing out of a morose astronaut's rediscovery of his humanity on Mars. Gary Sinise plays the depressed astronaut, and his thoughtful patience makes him appear to be a little sluggish, though not as sluggish as the movie: narratively it seems to be taking place in zero gravity, where each minute seems to last an additional 30 seconds. In space no one can hear you snore. — Elvis Mitchell
2000-03-10 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of Mission to Mars