"Nothing gets back until everything on this planet is dead. We're going in hot."   - Sarge

release year: 2005
genre: action/horror
viewing setting: home Bluray 8/3/14 and home DVD, 3/2/09

synopsis: A military squad goes to Mars and ends up fighting virus-infected people and monsters.

impressions: Movies like this reinforce the stereotype of all video game movies being horrible. Why? Because this movie is horrible. It started out with the usual promising concept (something goes wrong at isolated place, tough guys are sent to help, but run into more than they can handle) but it was implemented very, very badly. Issue #1: the THRASH MUSIC FACTOR. This is where, right when it's time for big action, some loud annoying music plays as the good guys shoot at the foes. It's unfortunately become standard in today's inferior action movies, and any time I see it in use, I know that the movie I'm watching probably has a bad director. Issue #2: the plot just doesn't make any sense. The mechanism of transport between Earth and Mars is never fully explained, and another time, a survivor just shows up without any explanation and is never questioned by the military guys. Issue #3: when there's a big bad monster lurking about - the kind that can peel thick steel doors apart like paper - it is not going to run and hide from humans and make them chase it. This is illogical. Come to think of it, that word describes most aspects of this movie. Issue #4: the lighting was so dark that it was usually impossible to tell what was happening. Did none of the characters have a flashlight? Issue #5: near the end, the camera takes on the point of view of one character, just like in the video game! Did this movie's creators not learn from the same mistake made in another bad video game movie, House of the Dead? I mean, come on. Making your movie actually LOOK like its video game is just amateurish.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Monster tongues that detach and go infect victims.

acting: The Rock is good as a Marine sergeant, though he begins thinking irrationally late in the movie. Karl Urban is the other main Marine, and one of the few who acts like a veteran elite soldier. Rosamund Pike is a scientist/survivor who has the annoying habit, when asked questions pertinent to the group's survival, of just standing there looking at the questioner without saying anything. Typically in intense survival situations, useless people aren't kept around for long.

final word: Bad sci-fi action movie, barely worth watching.

back to the main review page