Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Mars Needs Moms!

    Every now and again a movie comes around that effectively kills off an entire type of movie for one reason or another. Home on the Range put an end to the traditional 2D animated Disney movies for a while and Batman and Robin stopped the superhero movies dead for sometime. 2011's Mars Needs Moms! is the film that will not only go down in history as killing off an entire film studio and probably the motion-capture animated style for a while, but is so far the biggest box-office bomb of all time, losing a grand total of over 130 million dollars. So, does the film itself deserve the bad legacy it's box-office numbers will give it? Well, yes and no.

    Mars Needs Moms! follow young Milo (Seth Green) whose mad at his mom (Joan Cusack) for making him do all sort of chores. Late one night, Milo's mom get taken to Mars and Milo accidentally gets himself taken along for the ride. Once on Mars, Milo team up with the incredibly annoying Gribble (Dan Fogler) and the hippie alien, Ki (Elisabeth Harnois). There are other characters, like a "villain" and a friend of Gribble's, but they add really nothing at all to the movie and could have been cut with completely no ill effects.
    Overall, the film isn't really that bad. At least, for the most part it isn't. The acting, mainly from Green and Cusack, is very good and the animation, while it does sometimes go all uncanny valley on us, isn't all that bad. It just that the movie's story is so bad. I gave you the basic plot description, but the entire plot is extremely stupid. Why does mars need moms? Because, the men of Mars where apparently all morons who partied all the time, leaving the women to do all the work. But why does Mars need Earth moms? Because, apparently the martian women don't want to do the work, so they built machines to do it for them. But, if the have machines to be the moms, why do the need Earth moms? Because, the machines don't have any discipline skills, so the martians kidnap Earth moms every 25 years in order to steal the mom's mothering skills. But, why do the keep destroying the machines instead of just keeping one set forever? Because... it's never actually really explained. But, don't the martian women want to raise the children they gave birth to? Ha, ha no. Everybody know martian babies grow out of the ground.

Don't stare directly into it's eyes!
    And no I'm not kidding. They actually grow out of the ground. Why? They never explain it. That's the movie's biggest problem. It just kinda hopes we accept what's going on without any explanation. Things just happen and the film just hopes they make sense. The glaring plot holes and majorly weird choices in drama (the kid nearly dies at one point) make the film feel much longer that it actually is and a slight pain to sit through. The musical scores feels like it's trying to manipulate you into feeling one way. Dan Fogler (who is quickly rising to the top of my least favorite actors list) is constantly spouting pop-culture references and chews up the scenery whenever he can. The film even has this odd sexism, stemming for the whole "Men are Morons, Women are Workaholics" part of the story. The whole story is just like the animation. Something about it is horrible wrong and off-putting, but you just can't put your finger on it. The whole thing is original, but not in a good way. It's just... strange.

See this villain here. Completely pointless.

    That's not to say the movie doesn't have it's moments. Everybody is clearly trying to make a good movie here, but it's just not happening. The characters are acted well, but are written poorly. The animation is nice, but limited due to the motion-capture. The story is original, but stupid and riddled with holes as well. Mars Needs Moms! is trying to make a classic move for kids, but lacks both the heart and the brains to flesh it out. 2 out of 6.


  1. I saw “Mars Needs Moms!” with my two oldest kids and my 13 year old hated it but my 7 year old daughter loved it. She had a lot of questions though, which was an indicator that the movie was poorly written for a child. We try to limit our movie watching in the theater for cost reasons, however I usually have a “date night” with my daughter, and my wife with my son every other week. We spend one night on the off weeks with the other child alone. It is so important to them, and I honestly must say their friends are very jealous. We try to do one movie a month with them and then we talk about it. I found out in an email from my employer, Dish Network, that the Blockbuster Movie Pass includes 3,000 new titles, including Lionsgate movies and shows. I looked up their movies and found out they own properties like Ella Enchanted, Strawberry Shortcake and Whale Rider. I can stream these movies too which is so convenient when I haven’t planned our movie ahead of time by ordering it with the by mail service. Well, I wouldn’t give “Mars Needs Moms!” a 2, but not more than 2.99999999. Hahaha! JK.

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