The most surprising thing about Red Planet is how ordinary in looks. First-time director Anthony Hoffman (a veteran director of television commercials, such as the football-playing Clydesdales spot for Budweiser) gives us a generic vision of the future where the machinery and set designs--as well as the characters--are all stock equipment. Rarely do we get any camera shots that don't look like they were culled from other (better) movies. Rarely do we get any dialogue that doesn't leave a thud. Rarely does the plot find any unexpected turns.
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