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The Last Days On Mars Reviews

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YodaMasterJedi
YodaMasterJedi

Super Reviewer

November 19, 2013
three stars
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

November 7, 2013
The search for life is about to end.

Good movie! This movie had a shot at being quite good, only made it to pretty good. Performances were good, but the story went from scientific to space horror a tad too quickly. It's a decent watch and only killed about 98 minutes, so you won't find it to be a total waste of time. If you watch it with the thoughts of real early science fiction, you can see how it fit into the genre. Take the time, enjoy the ride and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, but not overwhelmed.

A group of astronaut explorers succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.
PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

March 31, 2014
This Irish, British and US co-production presented as science fiction thriller was directed by Ruairí Robinson with a screenplay by Clive Dawson, based on the short story "The Animators" by Sydney J. Bounds. Filming mainly took place in Jordan. Its small cast stars Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas, Romola Garai, Goran Kostic, Johnny Harris, Tom Cullen, Yusra Warsama and Olivia Williams. There were no outstanding performances but all of them where pretty solid!

The story of a research crew of eight inhabiting the Tantalus Base outpost on Mars was interesting but not developed in details. We witnessed the events in the last 19 hours of the six month mission which was to finish with a rendezvous with the lander Aurora, which will return them to their main orbiting craft. Nothing special was happening until the scientist Marko Petrovic (Goran Kosti?) found some samples that may point to life on the planet. Crewmate Richard Harrington (Tom Cullen) drives Petrovic, in a solar powered rover, to the spot where he had found the sample... and the tragedy strikes!

The movie was engaging enough to create continuity of the story without creating a major drama! There are moments at the start of Ruairi Robinson's feature-length directorial debut that seemed promising... especially a spectacular footage of dust storms and an eerie strings-heavy soundtrack that creates an effective atmosphere of doom. "The Last Days on Mars" was never going to be "Gravity," but it looked like it could aspire to be something closer to the highly enjoyable found footage film "Europa Report." However, the final result was a zombie type action movie which change the whole atmosphere!
Lane Z

Super Reviewer

December 4, 2013
Probably the weakest film I have seen Liev Schreiber in to date. Weirdly enough, he is asked to carry the load of the film as the star actor, but what is written for him resembles more of a tragic and murky wuss. There's nothing in the plot that makes you feel for any of the characters, but what could have been a very cool concept of a zombie-like bacteria in space killing off members of the crew turns into an unexplainable lifeless horror romp. And it's not scary. The production value is easily comparable to something you'd see in a TV movie, but that's not to say they didn't at least try with some of the vehicles and space station setups. The whole time I was thinking of other science fiction space exploration movies that were just handfuls better than this.
Francisco  G.
Francisco G.

Super Reviewer

March 6, 2014
Yeah, this wasn't very good was it? But by reading the reviews I was expecting the second coming of the antichrist and the movie isn't as bad as people made it sound like. It looks pretty good, albeit not terribly original and has some nice claustrophobic moments but the rest is crap. I could barely understand the motivations of these characters, which were all over the place, the idea is bad, the bacteria idea is not well realized and doesn't make any bloody sense and obviously ripped 3 or 4 scenes from Alien. Not worth your time.
May 9, 2014
Basically, it's "Zombies on Mars!" Why all these space movies have to be basically "monsters in space," "haunted house in space," etc. is truly perplexing. I guess screenwriters just have no imagination!

So, it's lots of talent wasted for no reason. Too bad.
impersonatorofclaymation
April 25, 2014
Wah wah wah! Another boring space movie with some kind of famous people in the cast. Reminded me of Apollo 18 minus the "found footage" approach. I wanted the space mystery to be something new and exciting, but it just wasn't. I'm surprised that Magnet picked this one up.
Luc L.
July 28, 2014
A rip-off film; the title should have been Zombies From Mars. Nothing original here and lacks of suspense and scares.
July 25, 2014
The last days on mars is a predictable sci-fi thriller, the film starts with a seemingly interesting plot however quickly becomes predictable and unbelievable after effectively becoming a zombie film set on mars. Good to watch just for the sake of it but expect to be frustrated and expect the plot before it happens.
July 15, 2014
I'll watch anything with 'Mars' in the description...but this was moronic.
July 10, 2014
This sci-fi horror has to fight the curse of films with Mars in the title (e.g. Mission to Mars and John Carter from Mars) and stars Liev "will always be Cotton Weary from Scream" Schreiber and British actress Olivia Williams as part of a crew sent to Mars to run a number of scientific experiments. The film jumps straight onto the red planet with a neat motif of the refrain "blue sky" both in the script and the lyrics of an old musical song and the location shooting (in Jordan) shows some solid desert desolation photography standing in for the Martian landscape. Sadly, this promising start quickly falls apart as the space vehicles, walks and crew briefings are aiming for realism but the TV-style eye-level camera work is merely monotonous. The film (space) walks the wrong line between realism and boredom and they ironically come to find life on Mars but can barely muster any atmospherics between the anonymous crew members who get infected by an alien parasite one-by-one. With little character development, the second half does show some more eerie promise but the first half set up (which forgets filmmaking basics of close-ups, cutaways and angles to create meaning) is so slow you'll be lucky to make it. "This doesn't make any sense", says a character and I agree with him as although Williams' bitchy boss is a role with a sense of over the top nonsense, the film had me shouting at both its ludicrous plot (anyone with a passing interest in science would have screamed "quarantine" at some point) and the subsequent stupid crew who once infected looked like drunken space chimps. Despite the good make up and everyone giving it their best shot, the film has almost no music/soundtrack (a big omission for me when considering the best orchestral electronic scores of past space films), a clichéd "blurred" 1990s dream sequence and the fact it took just £24k at the box office reflects the reality that in space, no one can hear you yawn. 4/10. Midlands Movies Mike
November 2, 2013
A bit too underrated, maybe nothing new or innovative here but still worth a watch
May 25, 2014
This could have been so much better, too bad it had to devolve into a bloody zombie film. Fighting off the bacterial infection would have been sufficient as a source of horror, without the zombie silliness. Better than the reviews suggest, but could have been so much more.
May 18, 2014
This wasn't a bad movie, it had the feel and look of Alien. With the horror being a virus that can kill, and then some.
May 1, 2014
not that bad if you like space and zombies :)
April 30, 2014
The Last Days On Mars (2013) is a movie that never needed to be made. In large part because it's simply a watered down and poorly executed version of a script we've seen countless times: Human space explorers discover microbial extraterrestrial life. Oops, turns out it's highly infectious and turns everyone into zombies.

But before I go on to explain just why this is one of the worst movies ever made, let me briefly mention the films only redeeming qualities: The camera work and special effects are reasonably decent. That's it.

It's impossible to become invested in the movie enough to give a single flying shit whether anyone dies. The reason is two-fold:

1. All the characters are completely one dimensional.
2. All the characters are bumbling fucking idiots.

This is particularly problematic since all the characters are astronauts. Astronauts are carefully selected from a relatively small pool of combat aces and pilots of dangerous experimental aircraft. They go though extensive psychological evaluation and are all brilliant, rational people who know how to keep their cool under extreme duress.

Yet somehow every astronaut in this movie has the mental acuity and emotional stability of highschool girls.

Stories require conflict. But the hallmark of a shitty screenwriter is to create all conflict via character's ineptitude.

There are very rare instances when someone does something resembling a good decision. And by "good" decision, I mean a normal decision any normal, sane person would do. But those good decisions are always immediately counteracted by unfathomable stupidity.

For example: Two astronauts have already turned into zombies, and a third man who was infected has just died. A woman goes to zip-tie the man's arms to the gurney so that when he turns into a zombie, he won't pose as much of a threat. I mean, decapitation or dismemberment would be preferable, but at least zip-ties show the character has enough intelligence to be at least a little proactive. We would all agree that she performed a totally reasonable act, right? Not according to the moron who wrote this scene and decided that some guy should begin to argue with her and push her away and tell her there's no point restraining him since he's already dead. Ignoring the fact that there's two zombies currently trying to claw their way into the airlock next door. Better sorry than safe, right? Talk about pointless fucking conflicts. Are these characters supposed to be believable? I guess NASA ran out of GED recipients and had to start hiring burnouts.

And that brings me to a problem I have with zombie flicks in general. Why is it that almost every fucking zombie movie exists in a universe where society is completely unfamiliar with the concept of zombies. Instead of going "yep, that fucker just turned into a zombie" the characters all have to slowly peice together what is happening: "He's dead, but he's not, because he's still moving. This doesn't make any sense. This is a totally new concept. I guess we'll have to invent a word to describe them (walkers), or just avoid giving them a name at all."

Instead of relating to any of the characters or rooting for them, you're just relieved when they finally die because their stupidity is clear of the gene pool.

Worse than just boring -- this film is annoying.
April 27, 2014
One line summary: Neither SciFi nor zombie; watch at your own risk.

----------------------

Opening set on Mars in Aurora Mission 2, toward the very end of the mission. There's a sandstorm, elided time, then a scene with Vincent and Rebecca picking up Kim. The ground crew and the orbiter had lost contact, but the radio link was re-established.

Marko and Tom go out to fix something that Marko left incomplete. Kim, who is almost universally disliked, barges into Marko's computer files and discovers what seems to be clear evidence of active bacterial life. At about the same time, there is a cave in right beneath Marko; he falls into a cavern. The rest survey the situation, then return to base to get equipment to enter the hole safely. Dalby stays behind at the accident site.

The group returns. Vincent goes down and has a panic attack without finding Marko. He's quite a mess when they bring him up. In parallel, the team notices that two pairs to tracks are headed back to the base structures. At the base, Kim and Richard prepare for Dalby and Marko to return. Kim is concerned that communications was not established; Richard is in a hurry to let them in.

About 34 minutes in, the movie breaks. It started out as a competent SciFi effort with good production values. After the 34 minute mark, it becomes a zombie film and an elimination derby. Zombie Marko apparently did not need a space suit, and he immediately kills Richard, who gets the alarm started before he dies. Kim barely escapes while Brunel wards off Marko. Brunel exits the airlock as well, but not before he gets a pick axe through his suit into his chest.

Vincent, Kim, Lane, Irwin, and the injured Brunel go to the hydroponics unit where there is air but no zombies. When the skipper Brunel starts to turn zombie on the table where they are hoping to fix his wounds, one knows the prognosis for the group is dim.

Does anyone get back to Earth? If they do, is that a good or a bad thing?

-----Scores-----

Cinematography: 5/10 Excellent pre-zombie, not so good post-zombie.

Sound: 5/10 Excellent pre-zombie, not so good post-zombie.

Acting: 7/10 Seemed absent during zombie rages, but was rather good otherwise. Without Liev Schreiber, I would not have finished it. The others were competent, but had much less screen time as non-zombies.

Screenplay: 6/10 I quite liked the ending, but this was neither a good SciFi nor a good zombie offering.
April 23, 2014
It's not boring so ill give it that... but it's a dull attempt at whatever genre it's trying to grasp at. Was it really that hard to have included something new?
April 22, 2014
Average poor mans Alien meets The Thing with Zombies
April 20, 2014
Mars needs... zombies? I guess so. But what Liev Schreiber and the crew of the Aurora really need on their Martian station is to find anything... ANYTHING... resembling a weapon instead of fending off their undead colleagues with fists and flashlights. Meanwhile, the mindless zombies use power drills, scissors and other deadly objects.
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