Tuesday, June 14, 2011

MIT Technology Review: 2000 film Mission to Mars worst hard Science Fiction movie ever!

After praising Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy as one of the 10 Best Hard Science Fiction Books of All Time, Stephen Cass of the prestigious MIT Technology Review has declared Mission to Mars (2000), a film directed by Brian De Palma starring Gary Sinise, Connie Nielsen, Tim Robbins, and Don Cheadle, as one of the Five Worst (Hard) Science Fiction Movies Ever.

#1. Mission to Mars (2000): This is the very definition of a movie that tried too hard, with the makers boasting of their attention to technical accuracy prior to its release and a visual style that echoes 2001: A Space Oddyssey. Sadly, not even the laws of motion escape unmangled as the cast make their way to the red planet hoping to find out what happened to a missing expedition. The ultimate denouement is that the Martians fled the destruction of their biosphere due to an asteroid impact, leaving on spacecraft to colonize some distant star. But before departing the solar system, the Martians seeded the early Earth with their DNA. Which—literally—made me scratch my head in the theater because a) if they can build such great space ships, why didn't they use one to do something about the asteroid and b) why not just settle on Earth? Most cringeworthy line: "My God that's it! Hundreds of million of years ago there was a sudden explosion of life on Earth. The first multicelled plants and animals appeared. No one has ever understood why or how it happened!" 

Memo to Mr. Cass: You misspelled the word “Odyssey”.

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