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Wednesday November 15, 2000

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'Red Planet' bores with derivative sci-fi plot

Weak, convoluted plot makes this film as barren as Mars

Making a movie is a long and difficult process, involving hundreds of hours of effort, millions of dollars, unsurpassed patience and, in the very beginning, a great idea.

"Red Planet," directed by Antony Hoffman, proves, however, that none of these characteristics were even necessary for the production of this film. In fact, the only real intellectual elbow grease present in "Red Planet" was the sneaky way it managed to steal ideas from nearly every sci-fi movie released since George Burns had dark hair.

The movie opens with the cheesy voice-over of Captain Bowman (Carrie-Anne Moss) outlining the plot of the movie - 50 years from now, Earth's stupid inhabitants have finally poisoned the planet so badly that they must leave to inhabit Mars. "Mission to Mars," by the way, had the same story line, as well as a better cast, and even it could not fake being a good movie.

Mars is Earth's greatest hope for survival. Its current atmosphere would be deadly for humans to breathe, but by releasing algae onto the red planet, a breathable level of oxygen may be created.

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