Very funny alien-invasion comedy is for older kids
Faultless in comedy, Mars Attacks! delivers frequent--and successful--laughs to the audience. While maybe a few attempts at humor are unsuccessful, many attempts prevail--sometimes by exaggeration of humor. For example, many of the humorous moments involve violent, but exaggerated moments, such as people being turned into skeletons, and very unusual experiments.
The film can also be a dark comedy--some scenes are dark, but presented in such a funny way that you almost have to laugh. However, its successful attempts at humor is not the main reason for Mars Attacks!' brilliance. It is also the freshness of Mars Attacks!, particularly its story.
Mars Attacks! is different in a good way because it is unpredictable. Many alien-invasion movies have easily predictable scenes. However, Mars Attacks! is a unique film because it goes many different directions than you had planned it to go--especially for the characters.
Overall, Mars Attacks is a really good movie, filled with humor and a fresh story, but that does not prevent at least some iffy content from entering through the film.
Here is the content description for the film:
Positive messages: 2/10. There is a message of teamwork, and attempting to work together to stop bad situations from happening. This message is demonstrated, but however, the constant humor and other possibly iffy behaviors hide the message. Also, there could possibly be an anti-authoritarian message represented in the film.
Positive role models: 3/10. There are several mixed bags of role models. There aren't that many great role models in the film, but there are a few role models. Sometimes adults try to solve situations, but also argue and can be lazy. However, there are a few role models, including the young boy who helps save the world from disaster, and other characters do try to prevent the situation.
Violence: 7/10. There is exaggerated, but still gruesome moments of frequent violence. Several alien-invasion sequences involve violence, with Martians turning people into green skeletons using rays, with gruesome results; however, it is played for laughs and presented in an exaggerated manner. A man has a finger severed in one scene, not graphic but the finger is shown. Humans are captured and their body parts are taken apart in experiments by the Martians, no blood and played for laughs; an alien autopsy is briefly shown, too. People shoot at the Martians, but only a few are hit and killed. Explosions occur in the film. A herd of cattle is burned in one scene, not graphic. Several major characters die. Violence is mildly gruesome but exaggerated and played for laughs.
Sex: 5/10. Sexual content is moderate, but not graphic. However, there are some sexual moments throughout the film. The press secretary picks up girls in a few scenes, nothing graphic. He tries to make out with one girl, but things go wrong. A Martian is shown looking at a Playboy magazine, and it is implied that he is having dirty (sexual) thoughts. There is a brief and non-graphic sex scene, showing a couple on top of each other, the man is shirtless, but nothing graphic is shown.
Profanity: 6/10. There are a couple instances of strong language, usually used in frustration. Strong language includes a few uses of S*** (including S***head), R*t*rd, H***, and A**H*le. Language is not frequent, though. There are possibly a few incomplete uses of the F-word. One use of blasphemy (J*s*s Chr***) which didn't have to be in the film.
Drinking/Drugs/Smoking: 1/10. One character, played by Pierce Brosnan, smokes a pipe in a few scenes, it is not frequent, though.
Either way, aside from some iffy elements in the film, Mars Attacks! is a funny movie that has a unique story which is not your typical alien-invasion movie. It has unpredictable scenes, scenes which appear when youre not expecting them to appear. That is what makes Mars Attacks! a very good movie.
It also has several successful attempts at humor, and the humor is so exaggerated that you have to laugh--even when some humor can get pretty dark. However, though Mars Attacks! is a great movie, the language and other iffy elements easily could have been replaced.
Because of the iffy stuff, I recommend Mars Attacks! for 13 year olds and up, and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness