*Editor’s Note: The following film review was written nine months after the reviewer saw the movie. The reviewer was also, by his own admission “intermittently nodding off through the whole thing.”
“Mars Needs Moms” was a great movie. It had action, adventure, aliens, and moms. That’s all you really need to make a great action/comedy/animated/drama flick. Disney made this one. Pretty sure, anyway. It looks a lot like “Polar Express,” which was probably one of the most magically creepy movies I’ve ever seen. I’m not a fan of that animation though, it feels like a ninety-minute videogame cut scene.
The story line was pretty basic, Mars needed moms, so they stole them from earth. About fifteen minutes into the film, the main character, a young kid who looks like a pre-pubescent Bradley Cooper, wishes death on his mother. The reason why isn’t explicitly given, but from what I gathered in subtext, the boy is mad at his mom for making the dad disappear. After he wishes upon a star for his mom to go away, she actually goes away — to Mars!
She’s a mom, Mars needs moms, so they take this snotty kid’s mom, naturally. He was clearly unappreciative of her, and Martians have an acute sense for that sort of thing. When tween Bradley Cooper realizes his mom gets kidnapped, he goes to Mars to save her. Probably rode his bike there. Or maybe he took a train driven by Tom Hanks, I don’t know for sure. Regardless, he ends up on Mars with a fat astronaut as his guide. The voice of the fatstronaut: Seth Rogen, Horatio Sanz, and Nick Frost.
Led by his chubby human guide, the unappreciative kid learns to communicate with the aliens. He sees how they don’t have moms, and how bad their life is, then ends up appreciating his mom. That’s how kids’ movies work. The boy makes a weak attempt to adapt, but because the aliens look like aliens and not Bradley Cooper, he gets found out pretty quickly.
This movie was 2011′s biggest box office flop. Probably because Sigourney Weaver wasn’t in it. Or was she? Over all, I give “Mars Needs Moms” four out of twelve stars. Or one out of three, if you’re into reducing. It could’ve been better if it was, visually, a few more notches above playstation 2 graphics. Also, the kid should’ve had at least one sibling. Maybe he did, I don’t know, but if he didn’t, he should’ve. Also, more guns.
Jim Tews is a comedy writer who is two credits short of a degree in Film Production from a low-ranking state college.