in about 100 words or less
US 105m, Colour
Director: Tim Burton; Cast: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Jack Black, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Rod Steiger, Pam Grier, Tom Jones, Lukas Haas, Natalie Portman, Ray J, Jim Brown, Brandon Hammond, Lisa Marie, Sylvia Sidney
The year 1996 is notable for two science fiction films that essentially tell the same story – the near destruction of the earth by alien invasion. One was the highest grossing film at the box office and the other was not. Independence Day skillfully combined the epic disaster film with science fiction and humour, while Mars Attacks! might best be described as simply a disaster. Meant to be a comedic homage to mid 20th century science-fiction B-movies, Mars Attacks! is a brilliant concept, but never fully delivers on its promise. Despite a hugely talented ensemble cast, and wonderfully campy production design, the absurdist comic gags of Mars Attacks! are too few and far between the film’s overly drawn out action sequences (Klaus Ming February 2019).