April 22, 2004
The planet Mars is now a settlement and tourist attraction, but it could not have become this without the usual pitfalls of colonization and interplanetary conflict: greed, power, deception, and government cover-ups. The Chief Administrator of the planet is Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox), a corporate stooge with a nasty temper and insatiable greed. His biggest obstacle in the way of complete control over Mars is a group of early settlers who were exposed to the Mars atmosphere over time because of cheaply-made domes. These people and their offspring have become mutants, and many of them have gained supernatural powers, including psychic ability. These people refuse to be swept under the corporate rug, but Cohaagen has hatched a plan with his most trusted friend, Hauser, to rid Mars of the mutants forever.
Hauser essentially had his identity erased from the world and from his own mind, and a new one was injected. He walks the Earth now as Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), mild-mannered husband with incredibly huge muscles and a strange accent. And through a series of coincidences (he thinks), Quaid finds himself on the run from the government, having discovered his whole life has been a sham. He must get to the bottom of this, and he's got a nagging feeling the bottom of things will be found on Mars. He travels there to discover more clues to his true identity. He encounters the mutants and eventually meets their spiritual leader, Quato. The psychic stresses to Quaid the importance of unlocking the memories trapped in his mind, and through deep meditation, he does.
These secrets would prove to be part of the conspiracy crafted by Cohaagen. Deep underground, giant reactors - perhaps millions of years old - were discovered by Cohaagen and company. Their purpose was most likely to generate a breathable environment for the planet, even though some have theorized it would ignite all the turbinium on the planet and destroy it. Desperate to keep a stranglehold on the citizens of Mars, they decide not to turn these reactors on and risk rendering their business of selling air obsolete. But turning them on would no doubt free Mars and its people from the corporate chokehold and the planet's toxic atmosphere.
In the end, Cohaagen's incredible greed reveals how inhuman (or inmartian?) he is. He is constantly barking and screaming at his right-hand man Richter (Michael Ironside), berating them for even thinking for themselves. Cohaagen has jumped his people through so many hoops just to rid himself of the poor people he wronged in the first place. He feels no devotion to them to the point that he feels things would be better without them. Cohaagen, at one point, orders the death of all the mutants once and for all. It would prove to be his biggest mistake as this order would drive Quaid, now fully committed to defeating Cohaagen and his vile plans for planetary domination, to start the alien reactors and release breathable air onto the planet's surface. During the process, Cohaagen would be jettisoned onto the planet surface before the environment changes. He painfully gasps and chokes to an ugly death in an environment of no oxygen. For all the wicked plans Cohaagen made, he never planned on his former best friend Hauser growing a conscience.
INTELLIGENCE - 8: Cohaagen is ruthless, shrewd, and was the architect of an ingenious plan with Hauser to expose the mutant leaders.
POWER - 3: He's pretty weak, letting Richter do all the dirty work for him.
VILENESS - 10: As the air bottoms out in Venusville, Cohaagen is asked what to do: "Fuck 'em." Vile perfection.
SWAY - 7: Spends most of his time giving press conferences as Mars' political leader and screaming at Richter.
PURITY - 9: Cohaagen is a monarch on Mars, but this operation forces him to choose between his friendship with Hauser or killing Quaid to secure his plans.
PHYSICAL - 3: Looking old and a bit frail, Cohaagen has probably been breathing too much of that canned Mars air.
Posted by Destro at April 22, 2004 10:17 AM