Mars Needs Moms Directed by: Simon Wells Cast: (voices of) Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Dan Fogler Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins Rating: PG Release Date: March 11, 2011
PLOT: Milo (Green) is a young boy who takes his mom (Cusack) for granted. But then martians steal her away to Mars and it's up to Milo to get her back.
WHO'S IT FOR? Moms might want to drag their bratty kids to this one. Keep in mind I think it's mainly for that 7- to 10-year-old range as the message is pretty basic.
Mars Needs Moms, but do we need this movie? I'm going to go out on a limb and say the mother/son relationship is special. I know, not many film critics will stand up and say it, but I'm controversial. I push when others pull. There is one moment, maybe one and a half, in this film that feel special, that rise up and stake claim to understanding the bond. Otherwise, we're left with a lot of filler.
Milo is your typical kid. He can't understand why he must do the basics of taking out the trash or answering the phone. If you're not a 9-year-old or the mothering type, you won't feel anything with this. Sure, you'll understand, but not feel.
Then, Mom gets abducted by aliens and bam! We're in space. Non-stop action? Nope. It moves surprising slow. Is it slow because they over-explain every detail of Mars and these martians? Nope. Little things like, every 25 years a new batch of babies pop up from the ground are mentioned like everyone should understand where babies come from. Normally it's the mom, but not on Mars.
The tyrant called Supervisor is an evil dictator who wants a mother program to raise all of the Mars babies. I guess this is because there are other things to do, like be soldiers (even though there is no apparent enemy). She also has the look of E.T.'s ugly old grandmother, or if you wanted to claim there were many Korean stereotypes thrown into this character, I would nod in agreement. The planet, the motivation of these martians, none of the details make sense.
The casting of Seth Green also doesn't make much sense. Either they alter his voice to sound like a boy or it's someone else's voice completely, and I guess they liked what they saw when they connected all of those green dots to his face to render him into this motion capture animation. It's Robert Zemeckis's gang that are behind the animation, but it doesn't look nearly as dynamic as his version of A Christmas Carol. I'm not saying that movie was good, but it was good to look at. The 3D is unnecessary, except for one moment where Milo goes out onto a ledge. Also unnecessary, Dan Fogler as Gribble. It's meant to be the comic relief, but there aren't many laughs from him or this film as a whole.
If you're a little kid, you'll sit through it fine. If you're a mom, maybe you'll hope and pray this movie can convince your kid to take out the trash. That's really the most you can wish for with this film. Moms might need Mars Needs Moms for their ungrateful brat, otherwise the rest of us can spend our cinematic dollars elsewhere.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10