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Escape from Mars

Escape from Mars (1999) Movie Poster
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  •  Canada / USA  •    •  100m  •    •  Directed by: Neill Fearnley.  •  Starring: Christine Elise, Peter Outerbridge, Allison Hossack, Michael Shanks, Ron Lea, Kavan Smith, David Kaye, Peter Kelamis, Julie Khaner, Tammy Isbell, Arlene MacPherson, Aaron Pearl, Jonathan Barrett.  •  Music by: Peter Allen.
       Five astronauts make the first manned trip to Mars, in the second decade of the 21st century. They must battle and overcome inferior computer components, corporate greed and indifference, their own personal problems, as well as the surprises that The Red Planet has in store for them.

Review:

Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
Image from: Escape from Mars (1999)
The year is 2016 and a crew is going to Mars, for the first time, to explore enough to see if living there is feasible. Tiger Woods is president of the USA/Canada coalition. The launch looks normal, but a brief, non-isolatable glitch shows up and goes away. In spite of some fears, the "politically correct" move is to go forward. They have a brief problem mid-way, but ultimately make a smooth landing on Mars, piloted by Lia Poirier (Christine Elise). Later, she and the commander hold hands as they step together onto the surface, the first man and woman on Mars.

After a pretty interesting first half, mostly exciting stuff we know can happen, the second half of the movie deals with stuff no one knows about, on Mars, and most of it seemed contrived for the movie. Meteorite shower, "visions", miscellaneous electrical problems, death of a crewmember. Plus, Lia gets a message that her husband died in a car wreck, and the commander's wife is divorcing him.

There would not have been enough fuel and oxygen for the return trip, but with 20% of the crew gone, now they could go home. Right before, they discovered a cave with "phosphorescence", and a few drops of water, which means they found life on Mars. The movie ends with them blasting off Mars, and a brief narration by Lia about what future exploration might discover.

This movie is not as bad as some "reviewers" make it out to be. It was made to star Christine Elise, a cute and "buff" actress better known for her roles as a mental case on "Beverly Hills 90201" TV series, and as the friend of Shelly on one episode of "Northern Exposure." Although she is a competent actor, her "delivery" is just not very credible as a scientist and space pilot. As a result of their training, those kinds of people sound certain ways, and she just doesn't "sound" right. Jodie Foster, in "Contact" sounded right, "Denise Richards" in "The World Is Not Enough", did NOT sound right. And, in a movie like this, that makes a big difference in credibility.


Review by TxMike from the Internet Movie Database.