The Last Days on Mars (2013)

The Last Days on Mars (2013)
  • Time: 98 min
  • Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Director: Ruairi Robinson
  • Cast: Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas, Romola Garai


On the last day of the first manned mission to Mars, a crew member of Tantalus Base believes he has made an astounding discovery – fossilized evidence of bacterial life. Unwilling to let the relief crew claims all the glory, he disobeys orders to pack up and goes out on an unauthorized expedition to collect further samples. But a routine excavation turns to disaster when the porous ground collapses and he falls into a deep crevice and near certain death. His devastated colleagues attempt to recover his body. However, when another vanishes, they start to suspect that the life-form they have discovered is not without danger.

One review

  • “There are footprints here. There‚Äôs two pairs.”

    Without any prior knowledge I started watching this flick. It’ll be definitely on Mars and it’s about the last days there (in the end it’s only about one day). To be honest it looked very promising at the start. The views of the Martian landscape, the desert-like environment and the upcoming sandstorm were stunning to look at. The simple looking electric vehicles were realistic enough and when the characters were presented there was without a doubt personal tensions between them. The only thing you don’t know is what was going to happen. The first thing that’s clear is the fact that this is the last day that this crew will spend on Mars before they are relieved by the next team. Is there a climatic disaster to come or are they going to be overpowered by Martians?

    As I said earlier, the visual looks are neat. Both the base station and the outdoor locations. I only found the steel doors inside the station rather look like those of a submarine. Unfortunately, the whole team consists again out of recurring archetypes. A commander who lacks command in a certain field, a psychiatrist who eventually turns out to be a coward and a scared nitwit, a female scientist who really is a bitch and takes no prisoners when it comes to achieving personal success, a technician who actually plays a brief role and ultimately only serves as a victim. And then obviously there is the protagonist Vincent, who suffers a trauma and who has a good relationship with Rebecca, another female team member. Of course, these two will stay together until the bitter end. And the end really tastes a bit bitter.

    Liev Schreiber takes the lead on his shoulders and starts playing it with the necessary competence. The last time I saw him was in “Salt”. And just as in the latter movie, he has an almost numb expression on his face throughout the complete movie. Except the times when he has those flashbacks. The ultimate explanation and cause of these flashbacks is given nowhere. Romola Galai plays the role of Rebecca, the female team-member who gets along just fine with Vincent. It’s not an overwhelming performance but still excellent. For me Olivia Williams, playing Kim, was the most outstanding actress. Those few times she was in the picture, she really was a tough lady and an unpleasant person. A real “bitch”.

    Unfortunately, eventually it turns out to be a kind of “World War Z” on Mars on a miniscule scale. There were after all not many people on the planet who could mutate into a zombie-like Martian creature that’s looking for fluid. The discovery of a biological life form on this planet is the cause of this fact. The only thing you can do from then on is to start a guessing game : who’s turn is it next and who’ll be the only survivor. And that’s not so hard to guess!

    The only positive about this movie is the fact it only takes about 100 minutes and therefore feels like a juicy hamburger from the McDonald: baked quickly, quickly picked up and fast digested. And an hour later you’ve already forgotten that you’ve eaten. So it’s a movie as a snack.

    The most impressive moment in the whole movie is when Vincent smashes the psychiatrists face with his space helmet after a few well-aimed headers. The blood drops which he removes with his hand, while floating around is superbly filmed.

    PS. If you compare the budget ($ 7 Mil) with that of “Gravity” ($ 100 Mil) I surely admire the creditable attempt. “Gravity” off course has two top actors (and I mean that because they probably absorb a large part of the budget) and baffling graphic effects. But the story about “Gravity” is as simple and meaningless as this one.

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