Mars Attacks!

"Grim"

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

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

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.