Toronto After Dark 2013: The Last Days on Mars (Dork Shelf)
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT DORK SHELF
On the last day of the first manned mission to Mars, a crew member on Tantalus Base believes he’s made an astounding discovery – fossilized evidence of bacterial life. Unwilling to let the relief crew claim all the glory, he disobeys orders to pack up and goes out on an unauthorized expedition to collect further samples. But the routine excavation turns to disaster when the porous ground collapses, and he falls into a deep crevice and near certain death. And after yet another crew member vanishes, the survivors start to suspect that the life-form they have discovered is not yet dead.
Last Days on Mars is a great looking film that quickly devolves into “28 Weeks Later in space.” It begins with an incredibly slow pace that only picks up once the accident occurs, but it feels like an eternity to get there. Most of the talented cast are wasted in roles that barely give them anything to do, with Elias Koteas and Olivia Williams being the biggest examples, but Liev Schreiber manages to anchor the film with a strong leading performance that keeps things watchable.
There are very few original ideas, but the film does feature some excellent effects and camera work that make the film feel and look more impressive than it really is. Even though it goes nowhere, Schreiber and the technical efforts almost make it watchable. Almost.
Till Next Time
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