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Some couples dance, others go to Mars.

It was the year of two Mars based movies, with the other being Red Planet, of Pitch Black and the chaotic history that produced the Supernova. Plenty of sci-fi around but sadly few decent offerings.

Mission to Mars is a film you can see had good ideas on the page, some brainy and emotion based narrative threads. Effects work is OK for the era, while there's a very impressive cast put together to tell the story. Yet the script stinks to high heaven, the surprises are as absent as Martians are, while the steals from previous sci-fi movies grate on the nerves. The odd sequence has quality about it (dancing in space, woo-hoo, storm attack, yay), while the finale - all be it still a steal - is well constructed and further proof that someone somewhere had the kernel of a good story idea, but it's laborious trite and devoid of the basic film principals - to entertain and engage.

So many things wrong here, so much so the names of all involved have been spared. Join this Mission to Mars at your own peril. 4/10

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