What starts out slow, quickly gains momentum in Ruairí Robinson’s film The Last Days on Mars. A seven man crew is making their final preperations to return back to Earth after the first ever manned mission to Mars. When two of the crew go out on their own for a private mission of their own, events take a turn for the worse. A living strain of bacteria is discovered and as the ground caves underneath them, one of the two astronauts that embarked on their own falls into a giant whole and is presumed dead. The accident is brought to the attention of the captain, Charles Brunel, played by Elias Koteas (Chicago PD, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). The team decides to go on a rescue mission to try to retrieve the body of the fallen astronaut. But at this point, it’s too late. The bacteria has taken over their bodies and quickly spreads through contact with the others. Vincent Campbell, played by Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), is the last man standing. He must find a way to survive until a resuce ship makes it’s way to Mars.
The Last Days on Mars is a strong, although not perfect, film that even non sci-fi lovers can become engrossed in. Viewers can expect to be on the edge of their seat throughout the entire film. Reminiscent of Alien (1979), the main difference between the two is that instead of the crew being killed off completely by aliens, the aliens–meaning the bacteria–resurrects the crew into angry killer zombies.
Now, there are a few things that weren’t top notch in The Last Days on Mars, including the aforementioned zombie scenario. The idea of living Martian bacteria overcoming humans is a brilliant idea and a new twist on the idea of alien life in the movie world. However, when zombies are brought into the picture, the intelligence level is brought down a bit. The idea of zombies is unrealistic. Another problem with the film is that, although it might be getting a little picky, but the gravity on Mars is not the same as the gravity on Earth. The crew walks around Mars when they’re outside of their station as if there is no change in gravity.
I recommend giving The Last Days on Mars a look if you’re ready for some suspense and science fiction. You can get it on DVD on March 4, 2014.