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Movie Review The Last Days On Mars (2013)

The Last Days On Mars

 

Mission to Mars with Monsters – and I liked it

 

The Last Days on Mars movei poster

“The Last Days” for the mission….and the crew!

        I honesty don’t feel like writing a review for The Last Days On Mars, but I’m compelled to do so because the reviews on Amazon.com are so negative. There’s the ego aspect – where it becomes a matter of why anyone would care what I say about this movie. And then there’s the aspect of sharing a movie and hoping someone else sees it and enjoys a small gem that they might have otherwise missed. That’s why we’re here. I have recently seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier and really enjoyed it, but you don’t need a review from me to go see it. Everyone is going to see it — anyone with a passing interest in the superhero resurgence will…go…see…it. The Last Days On Mars deserves a push.

 

Marred Mars Mission

The plot involves a crew sent to Mars in search of life. It’s literally their last day on Mars when a sensor lead leads a history-grabbing team member to make a last-ditch effort to secure his place in history by recording the find first. The site is compromised and his infection sets off the major arc of the movie. As every reviewer has documented; this is essentially a zombie movie that takes place on Mars. As I stated in my review of Apollo 18, the hostile environment adds a new dimension to the perils that this crew must overcome in order to return home. It’s a crew on the brink versus an infected zombie force- verse the dangers of planetary exploration – you know, lack of breathable atmosphere and stuffs.

 

Ruairi Robinson (who I am not familiar with) directs Liev Schreiber (Sabertooth in X-Men Origins Wolverine and Ray Donovan, the TV series) as astronaut Vincent Cambell – he alone holds this movie together with his acting abilities and as the most fleshed out character. Some of the others have that writer’s crutch of a character that behaves, in a way, out of line with their supposed job title. Prometheus (reviewed here) suffers the same fate as you ask “Would a [insert the thing you are supposedly trained to do] act this way?” So a few points are lost as you scream at the screen You Idiot! followed by Serves you right! I mean, it’s a common plot-device to portray characters – so that you are okay with their deaths. They almost deserve it for being so stupid and making such dumb decisions. Maybe that’s okay for the horny teens or the inquisitive homeowner who hears a bump in the night, but for astronauts to slip up- it’s a tough sell. I mean, it’s what you were sent there for, why you trippin?

 

Mars in Motion Emotion

Despite that, there are a few emotionally gripping scenes where all the parts fit together nicely. It’s the music, plus the mayhem captured in a moment that makes this movie worth the memory. The soundtrack is used to solid effect as the backdrop support rises to epic proportions along with the climactic confrontations. Although I enjoyed this movie, it does suffer from not going hard in any direction. It’s not really about Mars-zombies so if you want to see the shambling-mumbling-brains, you’ll be disappointed. If you want the hard science of space operations and a realistic depiction of Mars exploration, well yeah, you’ll fall short. Well, what’s the big idea then? I don’t think there is one. There isn’t any big reveal like the end of Mission To Mars. There isn’t a single morality-heavy speech made by a character that underlies the thing you’re supposed to be taking home after the credits roll. Yes, we went to Mars in search of life, found it and things didn’t quite work out as we expected. Be careful: you may find what you are looking for. That’s the moral of the story.

 

If you can enjoy a sci-fi tale with a simple presentation, give The Last Days On Mars a chance. If you must have extremes to be satisfied, then I suggest flicks that put the zombies on the poster. This one had astronauts and that scene was pretty meaningful. I’m not a movie critic, I just critique movies.

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