Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Mars Express Review: You've Got To Get To Mars


Oh, you're there, great. Can you pick me up a sci-fi procedural? Thanks. Oh, none for me thanks. I'm in recovery.
I need my cop drama set in space SyFy channel or Prime... Disney+, any of you who makes sci-fi still. Mars Express is just that, a sci-fi procedural in the seemingly near future set on Mars. We're in the shoes of private dick, Aline Ruby. Not your typical private eye, by the standards of neo-noir, which this isn't really, just in the aspect that she's a lady. Other than that and the rest of cast, this easily could have been a live action sci-fi movie you swear you saw from the 80's-2000's or turned into a series, which I would love to watch.

Going back, I was pumped to see this since the trailer, now that it's out...I clearly want more.

So, let's go over what has me and will entertain you, the murder case on Mars that goes deeper than it should, your stereotypical but-still fun detective story characters and all the fun sci-fi. 
Aline Ruby; her robot partner, Carlos Rivera, have a quick jaunt to earth to find a hacker; what follows
on Mars is a missing college girl case that opens a door to something much bigger that gets the two into some deep deep trouble.

Aline has some great quirks and some problems like her drinking making her a nice rounded sci-fi character, so does Carlos who isn't the happiest about some of the problems being a robot.

It all takes place on a colonized Mars. The red planet and the future has plenty of world-building for you to totally get into it. So many fun little takes on what cars, college and other aspects of life will be.
 Just like the cop shows we watch so much now, you'll be glued to the screen over the case and the way the two run their investigation with future tech. When you're a robot, you can scan the room. Just, turn off your head hologram.

This has some action it it too and lady detective can I tell you what it reminds me of. Car chases very similar in my mind to both iRobot and Demolition Man and once again some fights that remind me of Ghost in the Shell. All of which are very good things to compare to when talking sci-fi. Let's, of course, put in a dash of Total Recall.

Just an aspect of the car chase had me with cute little  "hat" robots that pop put of a tunnel ceiling to help with a car accident. The ongoing joke about our leads sobriety has a lock symbol go up when people try and poor her drinks. The sex districts robot designs were a great look at the perverts of tomorrow.
All those little bits build a world, a world with robots, creepy new creatures called organics and people a little bit different than us with what they do, but still us. Except, when it comes to their faces.

Let's clear this out so we don't dwell on the negative. I'm not happy about the look, design wise. I love
the robots and the tech, the designs of people, not so much. Expressions, people's face, how old they are? Hard to tell and just not that memorable. Memorable in more of a, stop smiling at me weirdo way. Character design on people in this, is at worst, a little uncanny valley. Since, it's only a movie it's fine, because we're with them for only so long. It reminds me a lot of the latest season of Ghost in the Shell, er uh, with subtitle of SAC_2045. The one where they went crazy with CGI. It sure was a SAC.

Watching the dub version; shout-out to the voice actors and the usual crew of anime voice actors in the background that sound familiar. They all got me pumped for what was happening as their faces didn't.
There's a bit of storytelling in here where you go, "Oh, I see, this is French/European." Meaning not everything goes down like an American made sci-fil film. I'll leave you ominously with that.

Mars Express has my ticket to get lost in over the weekend or to catch when it comes to streaming.

If you're missing some sci-fi from your life or missed the latest Reacher, CSI or whatever then check it out this weekend.

Mars Express is in Select Theaters May 3, 2024

Screener provided for review purposes