For Reel

The Last Days on Mars (2013)
November 16, 2013, 3:19 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ruairi Robinson
2 Stars
The Last Days on MarsLike Europa Report, another resourceful science fiction thriller released earlier this year, The Last Days on Mars proves that its casting director has impeccable taste but little else. An opening title card reveals that a team of scientists is winding down a six-month stay on the red planet. Shortly after one of the crew members discovers evidence of a living organism on the final day of their mission, he becomes mysteriously swallowed by a crater that erupts from the surface of the planet. The opening sequence sets a melancholy tone–thanks to an inspired choice of music, jazz standard “Blue Skies Are Around the Corner”–but the film soon shows that it aspires to be more Aliens than Moon, rife with incomprehensible handheld camera work and strobe-lighting effects. As for the creatures themselves, they are not merely uninspired but evoke little response from the sleepwalking cast (save for the priceless moment in which a hysterical Olivia Williams has to explain that the zombies might escape by using explosives or, worse yet, power tools).

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