Watch Mars Attacks!
- 1 hr 46 min
Mars Attacks! is a comedic science fiction film from 1996 that features a star-studded cast including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, and Sarah Jessica Parker. The movie is loosely based on a series of trading cards from the 1960s that depict a Martian invasion of Earth. The film follows a variety of characters, including the President of the United States (played by Nicholson), his staff, and everyday citizens, as they try to survive and thwart the Martians' attack. The Martians, led by a gleefully sadistic leader, have come to Earth ostensibly for peaceful purposes, but soon begin to wreak havoc on cities and landmarks across the globe.
As the attack unfolds, the various characters must find creative ways to fight back against the Martians. Some, like Brosnan's character (a scientist who has been studying the Martians), try to communicate with them and learn their weaknesses. Others, like Parker's character (a news reporter), become embroiled in the chaos as they try to document the destruction.
One of the film's strengths is its subversion of typical sci-fi tropes. Rather than featuring a heroic protagonist who saves the day, Mars Attacks! is more interested in exploring the absurdity of an alien invasion. The Martians themselves are portrayed as ridiculous, with their slimy, bulbous heads and high-pitched, unintelligible language. Nicholson's performance as the President is also noteworthy, as he gleefully indulges in his character's vices (such as a penchant for young women) even as the world around him falls apart.
The film's humor is often dark and irreverent, with moments of extreme violence and gore played for laughs. It also features a campy, retro style reminiscent of classic B-movies from the 1950s and 60s. The Martians themselves often engage in outlandish behavior, such as using ray guns that shrink people or turning humans into skeletons with their death rays.
Despite its lighthearted tone, Mars Attacks! also touches on themes of nationalism and militarism. The U.S. Military is portrayed as both ineffectual and trigger-happy, with an extended sequence involving an attack on the Martians that goes disastrously wrong. The film's climax involves a treaty negotiation between the Martians and the government that devolves into violence, highlighting the film's skepticism about diplomacy and government.
Overall, Mars Attacks! is a zany, over-the-top satire of the sci-fi genre that is sure to elicit laughs (and possibly a few groans) from viewers. Its cast of A-list actors and retro-futuristic style make it a unique addition to the genre, and its sense of humor is still as irreverent and biting as it was upon its release.
Mars Attacks! is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 46 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 52.