Ghosts of Mars

"Terrible"

Ghosts of Mars Review


America loves convenience. After all, we're the culture that invented the cell phone, the 24-hour ATM, and my most beloved, the remote control. Yet perhaps this time, with Ghosts of Mars, we have taken our love of convenience to far.

Ghosts of Mars stars Natasha Henstridge as a tough as nails, pill-poppin', Martian cop, sent with her squadron to retrieve "Demolition" Williams (Ice Cube) from a remote mining town for trial back home. When she and her comrades, appropriately dubbed "The Commander," "The Rookies," and the guy with the cool accent discover the town's residents slaughtered, they are forced to team up with Williams to escape from the remaining residents' head-chopping, alien-possessed clutches.

Filled with a lovely overuse of storytelling flashbacks, flashes-sideways, and viewpoint changes, Ghosts of Mars is a hapless mishmash of poorly constructed dialogue and ill-conceived action sequences. The only thing keeping this film from becoming an incomprehensible mess is the sheer idiotic simplicity of its story. Ripped straight from the pages of a 1970s zombie movie, Ghosts leaps from one convenient moment to the next, stopping only to kill the characters which are most convenient to lose.

Attempts at character interaction and development are rare and forced. Most of these moments come off as Kwik-E-Mart wisdom, dispensed heartily around the Slushee machine of life by the even-tempered streetwise hand of Ice Cube. With a gun in one hand and a dynamite cap in the other, Cube reminisces about his street life, comparing the zombie-stomping fun to "Me and my brother when we was kids." Apparently, crime in the Bronx has gotten so bad that the residents have actually taken to ritually decapitating one another for entertainment.

But, even in the film's darkest moments, fate conveniently lends a hand, supplying heavily armored transportation and easily accessible rifles and dynamite. Yes, in the future, man may travel to space and conquer Mars, but nothing beats a good stick of TNT. And as we all know, every police station, past, present, or future, keeps a healthy supply on hand.

Characters die, heads are lopped off, but they were only supporting roles anyway, so why should we care? As long as you have plenty of narcotics, immunity is guaranteed. Eventually though, even the most well-trained zombie alien gets a bit uppity and needs to be taught a lesson. What better way than by sacrificing a few minor characters to a convenient nuclear detonation, killing anything the machine guns can't handle. Explosions are fun. And even if the nukes don't get them, the conveniently placed dynamite packs on the train stolen from the set of The Road Warrior certainly will.

In the end this film defines itself when our cop's tribunal pronounces, "Is that all you have to tell us?" For, indeed, John Carpenter has run out of things to say, and has instead decided to use whatever is convenient to tell a ridiculously bad story.

Spirit fingers.



Ghosts of Mars

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th August 2001

Box Office USA: $7.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $8.7M

Budget: $28M

Distributed by: Sony

Production compaines: Screen Gems

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 21%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 81

IMDB: 4.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Lt. Melanie Ballard, as James 'Desolation' Williams, as Sgt. Jericho Butler, as Bashira Kincaid, as Commander Helena Braddock, as Dr. Arlene Whitlock, as Big Daddy Mars, as Inquisitor, as Dos, Rodney A. Grant as Tres, as Engineer McSimms, as Akooshay, as Michael Descanso, as Uno, as Benchley, Rick Edelstein as Zimmerman, as Yared, Michael Krawic as Man in the Rover, as Rodale, Eileen Weisinger as Woman Warrior

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.