Mission to Mars
is a 2000 science fiction movie.
The movie itself is, as you can guess, about a mission to Mars. The astronauts, Jim (Commander, played by Gary Sinise
), Terri (Connie Nielsen), Woody (Tim Robbins
) and Phil (Jerry O'Connell) are sent to find out what happened to the first expedition to Mars which sent a garbled Distress Call
. They encounter a lot of challenges, including some in flight turbulence... in space! Where they have to do a perilous EVA repair. Mars itself is a treacherous planet, and the survivors of the previous expedition are not what they expected.
Where it gets interesting are the visuals, which only get more impressive once they realize that there once was intelligence on Mars.
Not to be confused with yet another fictional mission to Mars, released in the same year.
This work features examples of:
- And the Adventure Continues
- Artificial Gravity: The Mars missions each use a ship with a rotating habitat area for centrifugal gravity generation. The gang had a lot of fun dancing Zero-G style in the central hub! Apparently, the cockpit module also served as a lander and return vehicle, leaving the question of whether or not the cockpit would re-couple with the drive section possibly left in orbit or if the astronauts would spend the return voyage completely in zero gravity.
- Avoid the Dreaded PG Rating: Averted; despite a sequence where an astronaut is literally ripped apart by a powerful dust storm vortex, in all its bloody stumpage, the film still somehow got slapped with a family-friendly PG (although the film itself does not share that demographic).
- Bigger on the Inside: The Face is pretty big on the outside too.
- Bittersweet Ending: The crew gets to go home but one of them goes with the alien.
- Black Dude Dies First: Inverted. In the initial tangle with the whatever-it-is on Mars, the black dude is the only survivor.
- Distress Call
- Dueling Movies: Red Planet was released in the same year, with a little better polish in the science of the film.
- Ghost Planet
- I Choose to Stay: Jim
- Innocent Innuendo: Much fun is had at the expense of a guy who refers to himself as a "Stick Jockey".
- Heroic Sacrifice: Poor Woody takes off his helmet, rather than watch his wife make pointless attempts to save him, and possibly doom herself at the same time.
- Look Behind You: Done in a spooky way, TWICE!
- Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: A rating of 3. While the human spacecraft have plausible design, and the physics of the movie are generally OK, things go weird when we learn that we're of Martian descent and that they'd like to meet one of their long-lost cousins in a pre-prepared spaceship left on Mars, powered by lots of Applied Phlebotinum.
- Oh Crap: Many instances.
- Only 0.2% Different: The puzzle in the face on Mars involving human DNA.
- Precursors: The aliens. Subverted, the are actually Original Man...and everything else on Earth has Martian origins as well.
- Sanity Slippage: The sole survivor of the Mars disaster, who had his entire crew perish in front of him and spent a whole year trapped on Mars alone. His reaction to seeing Jim is to scream "YOU CAN'T BE HERE!" and attack him, clearly thinking that he's finally lost his mind.
- Science Marches On: The Face on Mars at Cydonia was shown in later, less blurry, photos to actually have almost no resemblence to a human face whatsoever.
- Space Is Cold: Woody removes his helmet in vacuum to avoid dying from re-entry. His face is totally frozen before the helmet's even fully off.
- Space Is Noisy
- Too Dumb to Live: The first crew's reaction to the tornado monster thing that's pulverizing rock formations less than a hundred feet from them is to stand there staring in slack-jawed wonder instead of running like any sane person would. Sure enough, it ends up killing everyone but Luke, who at least uttered an "oh my god" upon seeing it.
- Tragic Keepsake: The Flash Gordon necklace.