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

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

Advertisement
A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

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.