Review Roundup: THE LAST DAYS ON MARS
On the last day of the first manned mission to Mars, a crew member of Tantalus Base believes he has 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 a routine excavation turns to disaster when the porous ground collapses, and he falls into a deep crevice and near certain death. His devastated colleagues attempt to recover his body. However, when another vanishes they start to suspect that the life-form they have discovered is not yet dead. As the group begins to fall apart it seems their only hope is the imminent arrival of the relief ship Aurora. (Magnolia)
Let's see what the critics have to say...
Davis Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: "There's a rote quality to much of the more violent action, some of it messily handled, and the logic gets a little shaky. But the actors keep it engrossing, and Robinson maintains suspense. Schreiber nicely balances the internal panic of a man determined to stay alive until the rescue ship lands, at the same time struggling to control his fears."
Stephen Holden, New York Times: "Filmed in the Jordanian desert, The Last Days on Mars portrays the planet as an uninhabitable wasteland shrouded in haze and susceptible to ominous, rolling dust storms. The outpost is a cramped hellhole in which the opening of an airlock signals imminent catastrophe. The Last Days on Mars ultimately can't transcend its pulpy roots."
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap: "Had The Last Days on Mars had the sort of artistic ambitions that matched the level of its cast, or if it had fully committed to being a fun, trashy, sci-fi monster movie, it'd be a more interesting watch. Instead, it's neither of those things and, ultimately, a nice-looking but thoroughly forgettable interplanetary horror show."
Keith Uhlich, Time Out: "Yes, Ruairí Robinson's celestial shocker is basically Red Planet crossed with Night of the Living Dead, but don't let the silliness of the premise dissuade you from watching what turns out to be, in part, a very capable, captivating first feature. Robinson sets the stage brilliantly, acclimating us to the otherworldly setting (the mountainous regions of Jordan convincingly stand in for the Martian landscape) and delineating the varied personalities of the crew in the engrossing, leisurely vein of Ridley Scott's Alien."