Ghosts of Mars (2001)

Ghosts of Mars (2001)

It's a Spirit Thing

Natasha Henstridge in Ghosts of Mars (2001)

On Mars in the year 2176 AD, Lieutenant Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) and her Martian police unit are sent to a remote mining community where the dangerous Desolation Williams (Ice Cube) is known to be. When they reach there they find discover that the mining facility appears to be abandoned except in the recreational facility there are a mass of dead bodies whilst Williams is discovered in the community's jail. It soon becomes clear that the jail may be the safest place to be as they come under attack by what appears to be possessed minors.

After writer/director John Carpenter made "Ghosts of Mars" he reportedly declared that he was leaving Hollywood for good, he didn't as 9 years later he directed again but he admitted he had become burnout. The thing is that watching "Ghosts of Mars" it is pretty obvious that this is a case with a storyline which feels little more than a rehash of an earlier work but set in a different time and place. In fact there are various things in "Ghosts of Mars" that if you have watched any of Carpenter's other famous movies will seem a little too familiar. And sadly the familiarity of "Ghosts of Mars" works against it in a major way because you end up feeling cheated by its lack of originality.

Jason Statham in Ghosts of Mars (2001)

But it is not just the writing which is the issue with "Ghosts of Mars" as this whole futuristic setting is not in the least bit convincing and at times makes me thing that maybe this was shot in the basement of some hospital amongst all the pipes and generators and then in a car park for exterior shots. The ineffectiveness of the look combined with the familiarity of the story makes it almost pointless especially when the dialogue also seems to have been created out of cliches. But the worst writing offence is to start the movie at point X and then tell what happened in flashback because it really makes it pointless.

Now not everything which is wrong with "Ghosts of Mars" can be put down to John Carpenter as at the last minute leading lady Courtney Love had to be replaced due to injury and Natasha Henstridge who arrived at the last minute having just done 2 movies back to back was exhausted leading to production being halted for a week due to Henstridge become ill. But all the acting feels as false as the sets and none of the actors really gel with Ice Cube coming across as pissed off the entire time and seems to be forcing his characters attitude and gung ho tendencies.

What this all boils down to is that "Ghosts of Mars" is weak and not what you expect from a John Carpenter movie as to put it bluntly everyone seems to only be going through the motions.

Movie Recommendations

Escape from New York

Escape from New York (1981)

It's the year 1997 and Manhattan Island is now a maximum security prison, e ...


Halloween (1978)

After brutally murdering his sister at the age of just 6, Michael Myers fin ...


Starman (1984)

After Voyager II is launched into space with an open message for Alien visi ...

The Thing

The Thing (1982)

Life at the Antarctic research Outpost is routine for the 12 man U.S. tram ...


Christine (1983)

When college geek, Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys a beaten up old car ...

Big Trouble in Little China

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Jack Burton (Kurt Russell - Escape from New York), a smart alec truck drive ...


Vampires (1998)

Jack Crow (James Woods - Contact) is the leader of a team of vampire slayer ...

Memoirs of an Invisible Man

Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

Nick Halloway (Chevy Chase - Christmas Vacation) is an ordinary sort of guy ...

Escape from L.A.

Escape from L.A. (1996)

The year is 2013 and after an earthquake causes L.A. to become an island th ...

Dark Star

Dark Star (1974)

Doolittle, Boiler, Talby and Sgt. Pinback have been floating around in spac ...

Maximum Risk

Maximum Risk (1996)

When a member of the Russian Mafia is killed during a car chase in the Sout ...

It Had to Be You

It Had to Be You (2000)

With his fiancee Claire (Joelle Carter) away on business, aspiring writer a ...

Power and Beauty

Power and Beauty (2002)

Judith Exner (Natasha Henstridge) believes she made three mistakes in life ...


Steal (2002)

He's cocky, aggressive and has a gun pointed at the face of a pretty bank t ...

The Devil

The Devil's Teardrop (2010)

When a man who goes by the name of "The Digger" goes on a shooting spree at ...

Follow The Movie Scene

Follow The Movie Scene on Twitter Like The Movie Scene on facebook Join The Movie Scene on Gplus Subscribe to The Movie Scene's RSS