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There's not much going on here except humans yelling at each other as zombies attack."> Positive Messages

There"s not much going on here except humans yelli

Unless you count the idea of astronauts as brave heroes, exploring the cosmos, this movie has precious little behavior worth emulating, except for maybe the hero's final sacrifice khổng lồ save mankind."> Positive Role Models

Unless you count the idea of astronauts as brave h

All of the violence is sci-fi/fantasy-based and not terribly realistic, nor is it terribly visible, given the camerawork. There's some blood và gore as zombies attack humans. There's a good giảm giá of fighting & zombie-bashing. Characters get a drill lớn the stomach, & stabbed with scissors. A character tries to commit suicide by taking off her space helmet on the planet's surface. It can be a bit scary when people turn into zombies & their faces mutate in freakish ways."> Violence & Scariness

All of the violence is sci-fi/fantasy-based & no

"F--k" and "s--t" are both used several times. "Piss" và "hell" are also heard. Characters use both "God" & "Jesus Christ" when scared."> Language

"F--k" & "s--t" are both used several times. "Pi

Parents Need khổng lồ Know

Parents need to lớn know that The Last Days on Mars is a sci-fi/horror movie about astronauts on Mars who discover bacteria that turns people into zombies. Expect a good measure of sci-fi violence, with some blood and gore. Both humans & zombies are attacked, beaten, & stabbed. When humans turn into zombies,…

There"s not much going on here except humans yelling at each other as zombies attack.

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Positive Role Models

Unless you count the idea of astronauts as brave heroes, exploring the cosmos, this movie has precious little behavior worth emulating, except for maybe the hero"s final sacrifice lớn save mankind.

The first manned mission to lớn Mars is nearing its end. Tempers flare & personalities clash when one of the crew members makes an important discovery: some kind of bacteria. Life on Mars. Unfortunately, his discovery, and his impetuous behavior, leads to a tragic accident: a cave-in. As his colleagues try to lớn save him, they make a horrific realization. The bacteria turns dead bodies into raging zombies! It"s up to Vincent Campbell (Liev Schreiber) lớn try & save as many of his crew members as he can before the zombies -- who don"t need space suits to lớn survive -- take over.

It takes a certain kind of attitude to lớn pull off a movie as ridiculous as this one, và director Ruairi Robinson simply doesn"t have it. Rather than cheerful và energetic, he turns in a movie that"s dreary & annoying. Worse, all of the big zombie attack sequences are shot with such awful, shaky hand-held camerawork that it"s nearly impossible khổng lồ see what"s going on. In one sequence, a character hits an alarm, which -- for some reason -- makes the lights flash on and off so that not even the characters can see anything. The humans have no depth or chemistry. The central character is given one of those handy backstories that includes flashbacks to lớn "something terrible that once happened." The others bởi nothing but complain & snap at one another. In other words, if the zombies won in this movie, it wouldn"t necessarily be a bad thing.

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"The Last Days on Mars" is a movie that I, someone who grew up loving both science fiction và horror movies, rather wish I could lượt thích better. Và it really isn"t even a bad movie, or a bad movie of its sort. It"s just not good enough to lớn really distinguish itself.

As you might have guessed from its title, the movie does take place on Mars; a manned space expedition in the ever-popular not-too-distant-future is, again as you may have guessed, the expedition, as the viewer joins it, is coming to lớn an end. As is customary in manned space expeditions in contemporary sci-fi cinema, this crew is multi-national, multi-ethnic, and mixed gender, although none of that really comes into play as the proceedings grow darker. 

What sets things off is crew scientist Marko (Goran Kostic) cadging a few extra hours outdoors from commander Brunel (Elias Koteas) despite the fact that the whole crew ought khổng lồ be taking part in an exit briefing. Marko"s departure cheese off irritable uber-researcher Aldrich (Olivia Williams) & with better reason than she knows: having hid his true motives from Brunel, Marko"s going out to kiểm tra out some actual signs of life on Mars that he thinks he"s discovered. Apparently he"s a bit of a glory hog.

We never vị find out what"s motivating him, though, because once he gets outside he falls into a pit và comes back out looking lượt thích one ofthe reanimated corpses in Tobe Hooper"s semi-classic space-horror picture "Lifeforce." If "The Last Days on Mars" has a closer kin, it"s Mario Bava"s "60s specialty classic "Planet of the Vampires." With its imagining of Mars as a desert-like planet và its insistence on a sort of "realism" in portraying campsites on other planets và such, the movie"s design and direction tends to eschew Bava"s baroque stylings for "Alien"-like evocations of verisimilitude, although here director Ruairi Robinson seems to forget that those evocations of verisimilitude were themselves carefullycalculated baroque effects. Which is lớn say, in "Alien" strobe lighting was very carefully calibrated for maximum shock; here the strobe lighting is just, well, what things look lượt thích when an emergency strobe light goes off.

As more crew members get the bug that makes them thua trận theirminds, thua their pulses, and turn into undead berserkers, lead actor Liev Schreiber tries to lớn cope without any shoot-them-in-the-head weaponry, & to help spare fellow astronaut Romola Garai as well. Williams" character, và Johnny Harris as an overly chipper team physician, or therapist, or something, provide character complication for as long as character complication is deemed necessary. Inhibiting Schreiber from being all the anh hùng he can be is an event from the journey over, conveyed in flashbacks that look as if they"ve been lifted from "2001: A Space Odyssey."

The familiarity inherent in the elements at play here didn"t breed contempt in this viewer, but by the same token, they didn"t exactly make me sit up & take exceptional notice in the onscreen goings-on, which is the whole point of a genre exercise. The cast does its level best, the script doesn"t pour on the clichés too strenuously, but there"s not enough here in terms of jolts and shocks and scares. A more ruthless momentum might have overcome the sense of déjà vu, but while I certainly didn"t find anything to hate about "The Last Days Of Mars," its main impact on me was reminding me of movies I might have rather been watching.


Glenn Kenny

Glenn Kenny was the chief film critic of Premiere magazine for almost half of its existence. He has written for a host of other publications and resides in Brooklyn. Read his answers to lớn our Movie Love Questionnaire here.