Director Tim Burton
Starring Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan
Film ** Extras *
If you’re going to pluck a sci-fi disaster spoof from ’60s trading cards, nailing the aliens is key.
Happily, Mars Attacks!’ genocidal invaders are a giddy triumph, sadistic pranksters who perfectly embody director Tim Burton’s impish spirit.
It’s just a shame about the people. Marshalling a marquee ensemble – Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, Michael J. Fox, Jack Nicholson – into a cross-section of ’90s america falls flat because everyone is a crass two-dimensional parody.
Burton wants to death-ray overbearing Hollywood blockbusters, but populating his film with craven eejits yields a dead end. Day-glo colours zing on Blu-ray, but someone incinerated the extras.