Mars Attacks!

Bomb Rating: 

Bring your game controllers kids, because this isn't a movie -- it's avideo game. Listen to the dialogue for but one torturous minute and you'll realize that Tim Burton and whatever monkey he got to write the script for him couldn't give a rat's ass about story or humor. They just want you to laugh because special-effects Martians are blowing stuff up. "Mars Attacks!" is mediocrity run rampant.

By now you already know this film is about Martians attacking the Earth. It's supposed to be the comedic equivalent of "Independence Day." Well, what "Independence Day" did for logic, "Mars Attacks" does for creativity. Who cares about special effects these days? Any film studio on the planet can drop fifty million in the lap of ILM and have Sarah Jessica Parker's head put on the body of a dog. If you want to really impress me, do the seemingly impossible: Find a writer with opposable thumbs.

Tim Burton wants to turn us all into Tickle Me Elmos as his little Martians run rampant. Fine. But please, at least provide some sort of storyline to keep me from cringing at all the wasted energy in the rest of the film. Case in point: Jack Nicholson's two performances as the President and as a Las Vegas real estate tycoon named Art Land. They both suck. Nicholson isn't funny; he's just dumb. The schizophrenic Burton, perhaps sensing this, tries to substitute quantity for quality. Suddenly, it's "Attack of the Cameos" and we're treated to brushes with greatness in the guise of Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Danny DeVito, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, Lisa Marie, Martin Short, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones... is this a movie or a celebrity roast?

And don't give me this "Tim Burton was trying to make a B-film" crap. He was trying to satirize a B-film. The only problem is that satire sometimes requires a modicum of creative thought. Unfortunately, ILM has yet to perfect a special effect that will provide that particular resource, otherwise Burton would have purchased it long ago.

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