"Mars Attacks" (1996)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Tim Burton
Written By: Jonathan Gems
Released: 13th December 1996
Runtime: 108 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video

A fleet of Martian spacecraft surrounds the world's major cities and all of humanity waits to see if the extraterrestrial visitors have, as they claim, "come in peace." U.S. President James Dale (Jack Nicholson) receives assurance from science professor Donald Kessler (Pierce Brosnan) that the Martians' mission is a friendly one. But when a peaceful exchange ends in the total annihilation of the U.S. Congress, military men call for a full-scale nuclear retaliation.

This is a complete oddball of a movie! I’m baffled by it. So many big names are in it – Jack Nicholson, Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J Fox, Danny DeVito, Tom Jones, Jack Black – among others! And it’s directed by Tim Burton. All of this was promising stuff to me. So, what was it about this film that could have attracted all these people? 

Having watched it now…It’s not a bad movie. It’s not the best movie. It’s…odd. It’s quite over the top in some ways and then in other ways it falls a bit flat. The beginning was more promising and then it sort of declined for me.

The cast were amusing for the most part. Particularly Annette Bening’s character. She’s great at comedic roles. I’m not used to seeing Jack Nicholson in comedic roles but he did make me smile at times watching this. Pierce Brosnan – I can’t take this man seriously since watching him in Mamma Mia. I don’t care if he was James Bond, he’s not my favourite James Bond portrayal anyway. He’s not bad in this given what he’s working with. His character has a pipe. I laughed. Sarah Jessica Parker’s outfits in this are flamboyant and fun. I’ve seen her play a few ditsy characters, this being among them. Having her initially paired up with Michael J Fox was a bit of a surprise to me, they’re not two actors I would have put together. Granted she was then paired up with Pierce Brosnan and his pipe, so…*face-palm*. Seeing the two of them with just their heads floating around was hysterical. A real ‘wtf’ moment if you ask me. As I say, this film is weird. I wish Michael J Fox had been in it more than he was. 

The aliens themselves were a unique design… The CGI was just starting out I guess. Despite their cruelness the situations they land themselves in are a bit mad so you sort of laugh along with them.

This eccentrically silly movie is not bad, it’s a bit of fun.