New On Netflix: Ghosts of Mars

[BoxTitle]Ghosts of Mars[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id=" 60004475"/] [NetflixWatch id=" 60004475"/]

John Carpenter‘s final film before going on a ten-year hiatus from feature filmmaking is a sort of sci-fi take on his own Assault on Precinct 13 (though with only about a quarter of the energy and innovation), which in itself was a take on one of Carpenter’s favorite westerns, Rio Bravo. Natasha Henstridge and Jason Statham play two members of a police unit assigned to pick up a notorious criminal, James ‘Desolation’ Williams (Ice Cube), from a holding cell on Mars — which, by the second half of the 22nd century, has been 83% “terraformed”; when the space-cops arrive on the planet, they find Williams alone in his cell but no trace of the colonists, whom they soon discover have been possessed by the spirits of ancient Martians that seem to really be into S&M and body piercings. Despite the pretty cool premise, Ghosts of Mars is a lifeless, witless affair; Carpenter’s heart just isn’t into it, making him — for the very first time — a lazy filmmaker. And the feeling is infectious — the cast, which also includes Pam Grier, Clea DuVall, Joanna Cassidy and Carpenter regular Peter Jason, all seem like they’re half-asleep and couldn’t care less‚ except for Statham, obviously getting a kick (no pun intended) out of just being in another movie (this was his fourth-ever feature, following Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Turn It Up). JC dilly-dallied with two Masters of Horror episodes before returning to feature films in 2011 with the not-bad The Ward.

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