Somewhere between Red Planet and Adult Swim's Tom Goes to the Mayor lies Mars, the animated sci-fi love story from writer-director Geoff Marslett. Sometimes you can only judge a film by its own ambitions, and Mars is strangely unambitious. I say "strangely" because its unique visual style (like colorful rotoscoped photocopies) seems to promise something more than it delivers. The truth is that Marslett just wants to tell a funny, funky love story on a small scale.
Three astronauts are sent on a haphazard manned mission to Mars, in a photo-op attempt to beat a rival space program's robot to the surface. Brownsville (indie darling Mark Duplass), Cook (Zoe Simpson), and Morrison (Paul Gordon) are unlikely post-Generation X astronauts, biding their time on their trek to Mars by yakking away with a detached sarcasm that borders on precious. It's mumblecore in space, and If that sounds like your thing, then Mars can be a rewarding experience.