“Don’t watch it expecting great performances or an amazing story and you should have some fun.”
The Last Days on Mars is a movie that takes place on mars, specifically during the last days there. It’s the final 19 hours of a six month mission on mars and things are going great, that is until one of the astronauts makes a last minute discovery that could change the course of science forever. As it turns out, this discovery is regarded as a bad thing because it starts to infect the astronauts one by one turning them into creatures that resemble zombies but are a lot more smart. We get to watch as this slice of red paradise turns into hell for the remaining crew, and as their numbers start to dwindle it’s a wonder if they’ll ever make it home.
So The Last Days on Mars is a thriller, and on that front it succeeds. It sets up the plot very efficiently, and as soon as you know it we’re off to the races. The Last Days on Mars manages to create scenes and scenarios that are so fucking terrifying, and then manages to keep that intensity turned up to eleven for however long it wants. This movie made me hold my breath, made my heart race, glued me to the edge of my set; whichever clichéd action conveys intensity, I did it. The Last Days on Mars, while very intense in a lot of places, doesn’t stay that way forever. I found that about 3/4 of the way through the film the plot slams on the brakes. It shifts from a thriller to more of a drama, with a few members of the crew being on the run on this lifeless planet. This is fine seeing as you can’t realistically expect a movie to be a 90 minute chase scene, but this part of the movie goes on a little long for my tastes. Instead of breathing heavily I find myself sighing, and instead of being glued to the edge of my set I am firmly slumped back in my chair waiting for something to happen. This part of the movie isn’t bad, but compared to the other parts it is wildly different. Luckily the ending is there to swoop in and pick up the intensity right were it left off. Now the story in The Last Days on Mars is far from perfect, and as a matter of fact I did have some issues with it. Most of these issues stem from the film’s complete lack of regard for tired movie tropes, instead using them as if they are brand new. Now this isn’t the biggest dig against the movie, tropes are tropes for a reason, but I got a little tired of comms being conveniently knocked out once or twice to serve the plot. I also wasn’t a fan that the film set up a backstory for one of the characters, but then never explained it to us. I‘m not sure if this was an oversight in the editing room (or god forbid, an oversight on my part) , but it kind of made me angry. The film spent very important chunks alluding to this event, and then by the end of the film we don’t even get to see what this event was. I won’t go into any more detail to avoid any spoilers.
One thing I will give The Last Days on Mars is the fact that the effects in the film are top-notch. It would have been easy for the filmmakers to create some terrible looking CGI landscape with CGI people running around in CGI vehicles, but for the most part I was surprised to see physical props and locations for these characters to interact with. Not only did these look great on the screen, but the design of them was really cool. It was kind of futuristic, but not so much so that you couldn’t see science actually using designs at least similar to these at some point. As far as the acting in the film goes, there really isn’t much to talk about. So why did I bring it up? Because it is a prefect segue into something I really want to talk about: Why was every character a cunt in this movie? I mean maybe every character wasn’t a cunt, but enough of them were to make me wonder what the fuck was going on. These fucking people had to live together for probably over a year, and yet they still treat each other like shit? I can’t even go into some of the specifics because they would include spoilers, but the way some of these characters treated each other it was like they legitimately hated one another. At the very least after spending so much time with one another you would feel some form of attachment to them, right? It was astounding to me that when the movie started you could tell that there was no effort made to make you like some of the characters, even going so far as to make you hate a couple of them.
Overall The Last Days on Mars was a pretty good movie. Don’t watch it expecting great performances or an amazing story and you should have some fun. The movie manages to be really intense, and the effects are also really great. All in all I would say that The Last Days on Mars is a pretty solid thriller.
I give The Last Days on Mars a B