(1) A story scope that way exceeds the budget. I don't know what the budget for this movie was, but they clearly didn't have the money to pull off what they were trying for. If you've only got a million bucks or whatever to make a movie, you're better off making a small sci-fi movie rather than try and pull off a BIG movie with lots of sets, CG FX, action scenes, and characters. The result is, you don't have enough money for realistic sets, good CG FX, and good actors. THe final result is sort of like throwing some chrome on the bumper and adding leather seats to a ford pinto and trying to sell it off as a Cadillac. It so doesn't look like a Cadillac that it becomes an unintentional farce.
(2) It's too derivative of other sci-fi classics, in this case Stargate.
(3) The tone of the story is all over the place because of the varied acting stylestalent levels. The lead actor, C. Thomas Howell, clearly thinks he's in a bad movie and is giving a performance that wavers between phoning it in and camp.. Perhaps he thought it was a bad movie because he spent so much screen time with a really bad actor who's name I thankfully don't know, and maybe Howell was just staying on his level. Now at times, chewing the scenery fits if the movie isn't taking itself seriously, but this movie is trying to take itself seriously.
David Chokachi and the blond actress on the other hand seem to be in a completely different movie than Howell in both tone and look, and are actually pretty good and are taking the movie seriously and acting in a very naturalistic style. Chokachi in particular was really good, but his good performance only sort of magnified how off most of the other acting was. And then there's this third movie that's sort of a soap opera on Mars, and they think they're doing Shakespearian theater, very theatrical and over the top stylistically.
Plotwise, I gave up trying to fathom it at about the 1 hour mark. I don't mind complicated story lines when they're interesting, but when they're not, the movie just lays there. When you're well into a movie and you all the sudden cut to a title card reading "8 years before", you know you've got severe story structure problems. It's one thing when it's the Godfather part 2, but I didn't get why they had this scene. If I didn't know better and if I actually hadn't seen various actors together in the same scenes occasionally, I'd think this movie was an amalgamation of three different movies directed by three different directors. Towards the end of the 2nd act, it's as if the movie knows that it makes no sense, so an alien comes in and gives a long expository scene to try and explain the movie a little. By this time I didn't care.
In other words, a total waste of time unless you want to watch all the ways a movie can go wrong.
Review by johnsamo-1 from the Internet Movie Database.