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Red Planet (2000, Val Kilmer, Terence Stamp)

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Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore and Terence Stamp star in Antony Hoffman’s sci-fi thriller Red Planet as the crew of an exploratory craft sent to Mars. It’s the near future and Earth is literally dying from pollution. A solution is to bombard Mars with algae, which will grow and give off oxygen, making the planet habitable. But when the algae suddenly vanishes, a team, led by by Commader Kate Bowman (Moss), sets off to investigate.

Surviving cosmic storms, a landing party led by Robby Gallagher (Kilmer) find themselves stranded and also faced with a rogue robot, Mars’ own life forms and a killer in their very midst. As the clock ticks away, their only hope is to get to an old Russian probe, jury-rig it and fly back to the mother ship that Bowman’s still nursing in orbit. But as the clock ticks down, will they all make it? A fascinating mix of viable science, sci-fi terror and thriller with strong characters and a moral centre, this under-rated film is carried along by the strong plot and the equal strength of the leads.

production details
USA / 106 minutes / 2000

Writers: Timothy Burgard, Jonathan Lemkin, Chuck Pfarrer
Director: Antony Hoffman

cast
Benjamin Bratt as Lt. Ted Santen
Val Kilmer as Robby Gallagher
Simon Baker as Chip Pettengill
Terence Stamp as Dr. Bud Chantilas
Tom Sizemore as Dr. Quinn Burchenal
Carrie-Anne Moss as Cmdr. Kate Bowman
Jessica Morton as Website Fan
Caroline Bossi as Website Fan
Bob Neill as Voice of Houston (voice)

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