The search for life is about to end.
Director Ruairi Robinson‘s LAST DAY ON MARS (2013) is just your average zombie flick except this time the zombies are on the planet Mars. Instead of the “undead” trying to beat down your doors and knock out windows–the zombies are having difficulty managing the secure air locks on tiny spaceships. Yes, there is much to be said about another movie about zombies but I will not. To put it plainly–zombies are not scary. This is after bingeing the last few years collecting, reading and watching anything and everything about Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. In fact, I renounce zombies. I renounce almost everything that even reminds me of zombies and the zombie apocalypse.
With the burgeoning evidence that life perhaps exists on Mars, we follow a small group of scientists who are packing up and heading back to Earth after a long six months on Mars. There are few of them that are disappointed to return home with nothing to show for their efforts except, one scientist broke protocol and discovered ancient bacteria in the layers of Mars dirt. He has to confirm his findings, of course, alas he fell into the hole he made for himself. Now, the crew is busy with trying to find a guy in a hole.
Predictably, the movie teems with flaws. For instance, why on Earth would someone with claustrophobia go into outer space? That says a lot for chief systems engineer Vincent Campbell (Liev Schreiber), who has to on more than one occasion, be confined to small spaces. Perhaps his character’s disability–along with his often intense blank expressions renders an often dramatic effect and, unfortunately, isn’t enough to save even some of the more “intense” zombie attack scenes.
Still, I give “Last Day” the props its due. It is an impressive movie to look at. The fantastic footage of the expansive desert of Mars, the dust storms and even the soundtrack effects the gloomy and sometimes suspenseful atmosphere.
All told sure it’s safe to expect the unexpected even though you have seen it all before.
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