Wee Reviews No 9
Invasion of the Little Green Men armed with Rayguns…
In this sci-fi comedy the US President and the World thinks Martians are coming to Earth for peaceful reasons, but for Martians this is war!
Mars Attacks!(Trailer), ILoveMovie, http://www.youtube.com and photographs © Warner Bros. Entertainment
One of my favourite ensemble sci-fi films has to be Mars Attacks! (1996). With a who’s who of early 2000s recognisable Hollywood faces starring in this sci-fi comedy film it is reminiscent of the 1970s disaster movies I enjoyed as a kid. It has to be to be my favourite Tim Burton film, before he concentrated on improving Johnny Depp’s CV sometimes for the better and for Burton’s then muse Helena Bonham Carter. Which by the end was becoming a bit like the Carter and Depp Show and at times more than a bit yawnable.
Mars Attacks! tells how in a nice wee homage to the B Movies, After a returning space ship to Mars blows up, Martian starships are flying towards earth. Earth believes they are coming in peace after the reassurances of the US President (Jack Nicholson). The US President himself trusted his science officer’s explanation regarding this. His science officer is played by Pierce Brosnan, proving yet again this man should get more comedy offers. However, the army led by General Decker (Rod Steiger) believe and the Martians themselves confirm are coming to wage war on earth. The President conveys the aliens peaceful intentions to the rest of the world however the president and his men discover its war they want after US congress is gunned down and this leads to similar scenes throughout the country. This leads to all out to war between Earth and Mars…
These aliens are almost like the B movie stereotype from science fiction with big heads, wee bodies and green blood. They could almost disguise themselves as a certain brand of doll and be the animated characters all female Small Soldiers (1998) girl friendly film sequel. The special effects – particularly the exploding heads – of the aliens are very child friendly and less grim than Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s (1981) melting heads scenes. Both aliens and the cast are killed in as many fun ways as those other nice cute little creatures are killed off in Gremlins (1984). So you are more likely to get laughs than nightmares from your average 8-year-old.
This film stars everyone who’s anyone from Jack Nicholson, Danny De Vito to Michael J Fox. Support from the ladies includes Sarah Jessica Parker, Pamela Grier, Natalie Portman and Glenn Close. Comparing it to The Towering Inferno (1974) where my mum and dad helped out in recognising the stars for me as a kid, this more current disaster movie has a mix of both an older and more contemporary cast where all generations can play spot the celebrity. Burton also makes the most of having two major stars in the film by providing dual roles for Nicholson and Annette Benning. And as it has a totally, original conclusion to solving the Martian problem…and be warned it’s not just unusual it’s out of this world!
Weeper Rating: /10
Handsqueeze Rating: /10
Hulk Rating: /10
Bonus Trailer: Yes, Extra Trailer