Mars Attacks! Reviews
This movie has all the boring weight of an Independence Day without a real plot. And because it acts like it's a satire on 50s camp sci-movies, it feels like it can get away with this, only satire still has to be grounded in a central idea or theme, which this movie lacks. I spent way much more time writing about this film than I should have.
One thing it undeniably has is an unbelievable cast. Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Michael J. Fox, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Martin Short, and Danny Devito star in this insane sci-fi romp. And that's just to name a few. In some ways, this is Tim Burton's Independence Day. The story is structured in a similar way with an ensemble cast sharing the load with interweaving stories. The aliens have similar intentions but with a slightly more comedic approach and horrific special effects.
I was not on board with this film for the first 45 minutes. There were far too many characters to keep track of and I didn't really feel connected to them anyway. The film also seemed to be taking itself way too seriously. But once the aliens reach Washington D.C., it turns into a completely different film altogether. So in one hand, it's an uneven directing job from Burton. But on the other hand, the change of tone midway through kind of adds to the ridiculousness of the whole thing. Either way, I enjoyed my time with this sci-fi romp.
Overall, it's a charming little sci-fi project from Burton, and we haven't really gotten one of those from him since. Although the budget skyrocketed to 70 million, which is a lot for the 90's, the story feels more personal and smaller scale than the similar Independence Day. The effects are brutal and would have been better off using stop motion like Burton had originally planned. But all of this pretty much leads to a harmlessly entertaining comedy that hits more often than not.
+Tonal change helps
-Don't really care about all the characters