Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
A group of astronauts are on Mars, researching it, hoping to find evidence of life.
Oh, they get what they came for.
Problem is, they’re not going to make it home.
Liev Schreiber – Vincent Campbell
Romola Garai – Rebecca Lane
Elias Koteas – Charles Brunel
Olivia Williams – Kim Aldrich
Tom Cullen – Richard Harrington
Johnny Harris – Robert Irwin
Goran Kostić – Marko Petrovic
This movie was hilarious – because of how bad it was. From the storyline and acting through to the shabby enthusiasm of its cast, the whole thing was just AWFUL. In fact, a prime example of the effect it had on the audience was displayed clearly as I exited the auditorium..
I stepped onto the escalator with my friend Kian (who I’d gone to see it with) and exhaled a loud “that was fucking AWFUL” – at that same moment, two gentlemen in front of us were laughing and reacting in the same fashion. What followed was a brief 10-or-so-second escalator journey, where the reactions of all four of us were basically – laughing. It was that classic situation where something incredibly stupid or funny strikes up conversation between complete strangers.
The Last Days on Mars was astronomically bad.
But surely a panic movie set on a different planet would have some good bits, no?…
In a word: underwhelming.
At the beginnning of the movie we get a shot of Mars from underneath (or on top – its hard to tell in outer space). Storm clouds swirl in a fluffy pattern as lightening flashes. I rather liked this; being a fan of space & planets it was nice to indulge in such an effect. Unfortunately, the marvel ended there.
The rest of the movie held no merit in the special effects department whatsoever.
The surface of Mars was only briefly fascinating, because of the whole, “ooh, look – its Mars” aspect. Otherwise, it was very obviously a movie set with unconvincing scenery. Small mountain peaks and randomly placed rocks added absolutely nothing to the movie, the actors could have been wandering around a barren scrap yard in bloody Battersea. The dust clouds which frequently rolled toward the characters were literally – just smoke. There wasn’t a lot to it.
Of course this is a sci-fi movie set on Mars, therefore it is all make-believe. I am fully aware of this. But it was one of the most unconvincing things I’ve seen – the director made absolutely no effort in its production; this was one of those shabby, almost piss-take features which more mocks its genre, rather than celebrating it. I’ve seen episodes of Doctor Who with more elaborate set / special effects.
80% of this movie is set indoors, onboard the Tantalus Base – where the crew conduct their research.
Which brings me onto my next (totally random) point..
Perhaps I was a little too bored already, but I noticed something at the beginning of the movie: The buttons on the exit door of Tantalus were exactly the same as the OPEN / CLOSE buttons on the toilet doors of Southern trains. Southern – a British rail company – run trains throughout the UK, mainly in and around the southern regions (surprisingly).
They have onboard toilets.
The toilets have large yellow buttons on the doors.
These buttons match those on the exit door of the Tantalus.
That is all.
Shows how intrigued I was by the movie if the highlight for me was noticing the buttons and being reminded of a train loo. Surely it got better?..
The acting in this movie was shocking. At first I was confused; each character had an accent from a totally different part of Earth. One woman sounded like she was from Bradford (UK), another from Oxford. One of the men was Northern Irish, another had a well-spoken London City accent. The lead male was American, his female associate posh British. OK, I was willing to overlook this mish-mash of heritages – providing they put on a good show.
..they did not.
The quality of acting was fucking AWFUL. Usually in movies, the passion of the cast is displayed clearly through the show they put on. This lot showed no enthusiasm whatsoever. One or two kept their performances up (Schreiber – naturally), the others were dull – wooden at points. Imagine a script read-through, but on set. And there you have your movie – a bunch of unenthused actors going through their lines as if the director had not yelled “ACTION!” yet.
For a good chunk of the movie, a handful of characters piss about playing with blood. Literally – the crew seem to be fascinated by the stuff and manage to drag a lengthy portion of screentime out with this. And then came the scene where a crew member is chased by one of the ‘zombies’ through a very comfy tunnel. As he jumps up and out of the tight space, the action suddenly slows down – it becomes a slow motion scene with classical-type music playing in the background. This bit confused me – I wondered why the director felt the need to ‘art’ it up, because all I wanted was to indulge in (what could have been) a tense chase-and-grab scene.
And the cherry on the cake?..
A male crew member turns to a zombie and announces, “I wanna help you!” – and then spins around and runs away like a little child.
..to which I genuinely LOL’d.
Halfway through The Last Days on Mars, I sat watching Liev Schreiber on screen and suddenly thought to myself, “WHY?”.. Why had such an actor agreed to be cast in this AWFUL piece of tat?
I think the first movie I saw him in was Scream as Cotton Weary. I have memories of him as a respectable Hollywood actor – I wouldn’t go through his rubbish, but you know – he’s an effective screen presence. I couldn’t fathom why such an actor had lowered himself to star in a movie that is nothing short of a mockumentary.
I’m thinking an apology is in order from Liev’s agent. Poor sod.
Shortly after Petrovic discovers a life-changing substance in the soil of Mars, a hellish hole opens up in the ground and subsequently swallows him. As steam gushes from the hole, he returns (with his colleague Lauren) in zombie form. Zombie meaning actor wearing obvious rubber mask.
There really was nothing to it; no effort in terms of make-up / CGI – made worse by the fact the zombies were hardly on screen, and when they were – it was dark. Just after the two zombies show up, they are quickly forgotten about as the Tantalus crew embark on their own adventure of running through tunnels, hanging around in the laboratory, etc.
The zombies should have been the main element of the story, but were brushed under the carpet as the story became all about the crew.
The Last Days on Mars was absolutely atrocious.
Shabby plot, awful acting and void of any entertainment in dialogue or visual format. I would urge anyone to avoid this movie at all costs. Because what you think might entertain, does nothing but disappoint.
People in the audience were genuinely LAUGHING – says it all.
I was bored. Agitated. Desperate to exit the cinema to escape.
But I stuck around until the end for you guys, so that I could bring you this review & summary.
Yes however awful a movie is, I sit through the whole lot – for the fans, the readers of my site.