Mars Attacks!

As flying saucers head for Earth, the president of the United States prepares to welcome alien visitors but soon learns they’re not coming in peace.

Year: 1996
Certificate: 12
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Jack NicholsonGlenn CloseAnnette BeningPierce BrosnanDanny DeVitoMartin ShortSarah Jessica ParkerMichael J. FoxRod SteigerTom JonesLukas HaasNatalie Portman

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A terribly bad good movie…

“Mars Attacks!” is a strange kind of movie (that should be obvious as it was directed by Tim Burton) in that by all accounts it is a bad film, and yet one wonders if it is that fact that somehow makes it very endearing to a lover of the retro B-class science fiction stories such as myself. “Mars Attacks!” stars a cast of very well known actors like Mr Bond himself Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker and Danny DeVito, to name a few, that all create an ensemble narrative told from the perspective of various characters (though throwing particular light on the President) driving the premise forward.

After establishing first contact with aliens the president (Jack Nicholson) arranges a meeting with them and at first they seem to come in peace until doves are released which seemingly turns the aliens hostile and an invasion follows. What comes next is the classic humans vs aliens story so I won’t go into too many plot details but the film jumps around between characters a lot so keep an eye out for the numerous cameos of familiar faces that pop up.

What really makes this film stand out is how charming it is. The aliens are a CGI-horror fest yet utterly likeable. The acting is wooden with terrible dialogue but delivered by such well loved actors that it’s forgivable. You get a sense that everyone in this movie were in on the joke of just how ridiculous it is except for the writers and director Tim Burton and sadly that shows in parts! Its cheesy, camp , colourful tone always seems to be in direct conflict with the writer’s ‘vision’ of a more serious and dark take and so can feel disjointed at times.

Nevertheless, while not the finest hours of many of it’s stars, I can’t imagine anyone watching the movie and not smiling… Just don’t expect ‘Independence Day’ level quality and you’ll have a good time.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

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3 thoughts on “Mars Attacks!

  1. OMG THANK YOU! I have been trying to remember the name of this movie forever… My kid has been making the ack ack noises and I am like “Did you see … ” and then nothing becuase I couldn’t remember the name!

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