Mars Attacks! (1996) Movie Review

Mars Attacks! (1996) Poster

Mars Attacks! (1996)

1996 | PG-13 | Sci-Fi, Action, Comedy
106 minutes / 1h 46min

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Mars Attacks! Plot Synopsis:

It is a normal day for everyone, until the President of the United States announces Martians have been spotted circling Earth. The Martians land and a meeting is arranged, but not everything goes to plan, and the Martians seem to have other plans for Earth. Are they just misunderstood beings or do they really want to destroy all of humanity?

Mars Attacks! (1996) Review

Mars Attacks! (1996) is an American sci-fi comedy movie that is a parody of sci-fi grade B movies containing black comedy and political satire. Mars Attacks! filmed from February to November 1996 in several locations including California, Nevada, Kansas, Arizona, and Argentina. Director Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands (1990), Corpse Bride (2005), Batman Returns (1992), Ed Wood (1994)) did an incredible job portraying writer Jonathan Gems screenplay. The soundtrack was made by recording duck quacks and reversing the sound to make the Martians’ quirky speech pattern that became famous for a while. The budget limitations did not allow for the original plans of using stop motion possible, so Industrial Light & Magic used computer animation to create the Martians.

President James Dale (Jack Nicholson - The Shining (1980), The Departed (2006), As Good as It Gets (1997), Chinatown (1974)) and his science team sets up a meeting with the Martians in Pahrump, Nevada. President Dale and his family watch the development on TV as the Ambassador of the Martians uses a universal translator to say that they will colonize Earth. The translator is quickly reprogrammed to say that the Martians "come in peace" so that the world will not panic. The Martians did not take long to rampage their way wreaking havoc on the humans and killing many people before kidnapping Nathalie and her pet Chihuahua. Nathalie Lake (Sarah Jessica Parker - Sex and the City (1998), Sex and the City (2008), Ed Wood (1994), Sex and the City 2 (2010)) is a chat show host. After a few events, General Decker (Rod Steiger - On the Waterfront (1954), In the Heat of the Night (1967), Doctor Zhivago (1965)) tries to convince President Dale to use nuclear warfare on the Martians. There is a huge amount of decapitations, mutilation, and killing in Mars Attacks - endless body count. One of the Martian made his/her way into the white house by dressing as a human prostitute. After a few more killings and awesome action scenes, we see the Martians infiltrating Dale’s bunker. Richie took a while but better late than never - discovers the Martians’ heads explodes upon hearing Slim Whitman "Indian Love Call." The movie does not end there, and there are so many intriguing action packed parts that I did not mention.

The movie had many goofs but was overall an entertaining, funny film to enjoy with friends and family. I gave this movie a seven because the actors did an incredible job with their performance. The sets, scenes, makeup, and music, was almost flawless. The cinematographer did a splendid job, and the special effects department excelled at their task.

  • Mars Attacks! Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 7
  • Overall Score: 6.07
  • IMDB: 6.3
  • MetaCritic: 5.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 5.2

About Mars Attacks! 1996

Title: Mars Attacks!
Year: 1996
Runtime: 106 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Comedy
Score: 3.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.03/5 stars from 191,536 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 191,536
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Mars Attacks! Cast Starring: Frank Welker, Greg Bronson, Rance Howard, Roger Jackson, Glenn Close, Pam Grier, Natalie Portman, Lukas Haas, Lisa Marie, Jack Nicholson, Michael J. Fox, Bob Pepper, Michael Reilly Burke, Page Dreher, Jack Black, J. Kenneth Campbell, Danny DeVito, Jim Brown, Joe Don Baker, Paul Winfield, O-Lan Jones, Julian Barnes, Rod Steiger, Pierce Brosnan, Joseph Maher, Willie Garson, Ken Thomas, John Bradley, Gregg Daniel, Scott McKinley
Mars Attacks! Writers: Len Brown, Woody Gelman, Wally Wood
Mars Attacks! Director: Tim Burton
Production: Warner Home Video
Language: English, French
Country: USA