Mars Attacks!

"Weak"

Mars Attacks! Review


We've already had three movies based on TV shows this year, plus a film based on a TV commercial, but I think it's a really bad omen when a film is based on a series of trading cards.

The film is Mars Attacks!, and with it Tim Burton serves up the worst production of his once-blossoming career, a movie wherein he indulges every excess of his demented psyche, pays no attention to entertaining the audience, and recycles every joke he can get his hands on.

The joke recycling would be okay, even appropriate, given Burton's predilection for shtick, if only the jokes were funny! But they're not. Nothing much is funny in Mars Attacks!, whose mildly amusing War of the Worlds story can best be described as... Mars attacks.

Burton obviously started this production in the casting -- Jack Nicholson as the president, Glenn Close as his uppity wife, Annette Bening as a New Age freak, Pierce Brosnan as a sophisticated science advisor. You get the idea. I guess Burton figured that throwing Tom Jones (as himself) into the mix would make it all better.

And maybe it would have, except the performances look like they're cobbled together from the days off that the cast of some 15 "name" actors happened to have. Bits and pieces of what should be on the editing room floor have somehow made their way into the final print instead, and in no particular order, either. Only one running joke stands out as worthy -- a flirtation between two disembodied heads (I won't say who).

I realize that Mars Attacks! was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek homage to the cheesy, old sci-fi flicks (but Tim, you already made Ed Wood), but Mars Attacks! isn't even any good as a farce. The movie just plain looks bad -- too bad to be taken seriously, but not bad enough to look bad on purpose. And Burton's use of ultra-campy stars like Lisa Marie and Pam Grier? Puh-leeze. Where's Richard Roundtree, Tim?

Got the point yet? Because I'm tired of writing about this dead film. I wonder if we'll ever know what Burton had in mind when he put together this giant waste of time, but then again, who cares?

Nice 'do, Lisa.



Mars Attacks!

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th December 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $101.4M

Budget: $70M

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Production compaines: Tim Burton Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 33 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as President James Dale / Art Land, as First Lady Marsha Dale, as Barbara Land, as Professor Donald Kessler, as Rude Gambler, as Press Secretary Jerry Ross, as Nathalie Lake, Michael J. Fox as Jason Stone, as General Decker, as Himself, as Taffy Dale, as Richie Norris, as Grandma Florence Norris, as Martian Girl, as Byron Williams, as Louise Williams

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

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.