Mars (1997)

Rating: D

Dir: Jon Hess
Star: Olivier Grunier, Shari Belafonte, Gabriel Dell Jr., Alex Hyde-White

Hmmm. Muscly European action-hero goes to Mars, and uncovers an evil industry plot to sacrifice the population there for their own ends. Can you say Total Recall? Here, rather than Arnie, we get the somewhat cheaper Olivier Grunier, but at least it’s not an Albert Pyun movie — unless he’s using a pen-name these days. Grunier is adequate, aware of his limitations and so not trying for too many of those tricky emotion things. This is clearly low-rent stuff, with a couple of digital spaceships passing for effects, and Mars itself not much more than a red filter on the camera lens. There is plenty of running around, shouting and fighting, which I imagine is precisely what you would want if you rented this. It’s all terribly competent, yet strangely pointless, and completely forgettable.