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Red Planet [DVD]

From 225 points
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Release Date:25/05/2001
List Price:£13.99
Director:Antony Hoffman
Starring:Benjamin Bratt, Carrie-Anne Moss, Simon Baker, Tom Sizemore, Val Kilmer
Technical Details:Closed-captioned Colour Dubbed PAL Subtitled Widescreen
Running Time:106 minutes
Main Language:English
Dubbed in:French
Subtitles:Arabic Dutch English French German Italian Spanish
Studio:Warner Home Video
Number Of Disks:1

In Red Planet the only thing thicker than the Martian atmosphere (which is breathable, by the way) is the layer of clichés that nearly smothers a formulaic beat-the-clock plot. Science fiction fans are sure to be forgiving, however, because the film is reasonably intelligent, boasts a few dazzling sequences, and presents fascinating technology in the year 2057.

We don't know how the Mars-1 spaceship gets to Mars in only six months (newfangled propulsion, no doubt), but we do get some cool diagnostic read-outs on tinfoil scrolls, an abundance of well-designed hardware, and a service-robot-turned-villain that's a high-tech hybrid of RoboCop, Bruce Lee, and a slinky panther with plenty of lethal attitude. The oxygen in the Martian atmosphere has resulted from nascent efforts at terraforming, made necessary by Earth's over-polluted condition. Mars-1 has been dispatched to determine why the terraforming is failing, and upon arrival everything goes inevitably haywire. Nearly two hours, three deaths, and multiple crises later (including the discovery of a Martian life form), "space janitor" Val Kilmer and his ultra-competent commander (Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix) have collaborated to set things right, capped off by second dose of the wretched narration that bookends the movie. Hoary material, to be sure, and as a veteran of TV commercials making his feature debut, director Anthony Hoffman is clearly more comfortable with flashy visuals than depth of character. Still, he keeps things humming right along. A perfectly suitable companion to another Y2K sci-fi thriller, Pitch Black, Red Planet is a fine way to kill a couple of hours. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

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225 points
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Condition: Used and slightly worn  
Notes: Region 1 Edition with deleted scenes and different cover. Posted in a padded jiffy envelope  

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