Red Planet

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

In 2025 A.D., the earth environment is becoming so polluted that NASA developed a plan to generate oxygen on the planet of Mars and colonize it. NASA sends a highly sophisticated space ship, with a crew of six astronauts, to investigate the results of their oxygen-producing experiment. When a powerful radiation burst damages the ship, five men escape to the planets surface, but the female commanding officer, Kate Bowman (Carrie-Anne Moss), is trapped on the ship and tries to restore its functions. On the planets surface, Robby Gallagher (Val Kilmer) leads the astronauts to complete the mission. From the beginning, they are threatened by terrifying dangers and hardships including violent storms, a vicious NASA robot gone berserk, and hoards of gruesome bug-like creatures that eat human flesh. Crew members start to meet their demise and hope for survival appears futile. But an abandoned Russian spaceship could be their escape. Similar to last years MISSION TO MARS, this well-crafted space adventure has enough suspense and action to do fairly well at the box office.

An interesting theme in this sci-fi adventure is discussions among the astronaut-scientists about the existence of God. One older astronaut says that science does not have answers to many interesting questions of life and he is diligently searching for God. Another argues that believing in God ignores practical facts and is the easy way out. Even Gallagher, a confirmed skeptic, observes that God moves in mysterious ways. Some violent episodes become severe, particularly when the NASA robot and the bug like creatures attack. While occasionally gruesome, they are not overtly exploitive. An attraction between Kate and Robby is indicated, but no sexual activity is shown. Kates silhouette is seen as she takes a shower and, leaving the shower, faces Gallagher nude, but her back is shown to the audience. The most disappointing aspect of the film is some strong profanity, a dozen obscenities and a finger gesture shown close up just before an astronaut rockets back into space. Like many current productions, foul language spoils an otherwise reasonably decent film.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Warner Brothers Pictures, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times - Mild 7, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Many (12) times F word 1, s word 9, finger gesture, other 1

Profanity: Several (6) times Regular 4 (GD 2, J, G); Exclamatory 2 (OJ, OG)

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (Radiation burst damages ship, men fight, man falls from cliff, robot and bug creatures attack and kill astronauts, violent storms, robot blows up, space unit damages another ship, man violently suffocates)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity few times (Silhouette of nude woman; nude woman with back to camera)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Man watches woman in shower, mild sexual innuendo

Drugs: Once - Astronauts drink homemade vodka

Other: Discussions of existence of God and religious faith; scientist searching for God; spiritual life said to be difficult, but ignores facts; men urinates; slang word for urination; man sacrifices life for others, unknown forces said to help astronauts survive

Running Time: 155 minutes (e)
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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