Disney and Mars really don’t mix, looking at how no less than three blockbuster-sized projects revolving around the red planet have catastrophically flopped. Don’t be surprised if the Mouse House never even mentions the fourth rock from the sun ever again after what happened with sci-fi adventure Mission to Mars, animated disaster Mars Needs Moms, and fantasy folly John Carter.
While the latter has embraced cult classic status at long last, the same can’t be said for the former, which has instead largely been lost to the cinematic sands of time. That’s completely fair on one hand when Mission to Mars could only earn $111 million at the box office on a $100 million budget, ensuring that it ended up firmly (if a touch ironically) in the red.
Not only that, but a 24 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and 30 percent user rating does not paint a picture of an underrated gem, but rather an outright disappointment. And yet, Mission to Mars has started re-orbiting the realms of relevancy at long last, with fans on Reddit showing a surprising amount of support for the film.
Directed by Brian De Palma and featuring a solid cast that numbers Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, Tim Robbins, Jerry O’Connell, and Connie Nielsen in the lead roles, Mission to Mars focuses on the first manned mission to the titular outcrop in the far-flung and unimaginable future of… 2020.
Cheadle’s Luke Graham finds himself stranded without any way of contacting Earth, but the subsequent rescue mission discovers that Mars may not be so uninhabited after all. The visuals are undoubtedly stunning at regular intervals, but saying that Mission to Mars doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves would perhaps be a bridge too far.