17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable, if somewhat derivative, sci-fi/horror epic,
This review is from: The Last Days on Mars [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
**** Slight spoilers ****
It all gets off to a great start by the very fact of setting this movie on everyone's favourite extra-terrestrial planet. I've always been fascinated by Mars and couldn't resist going to see this movie. The surface of Mars looks pretty convincing here, with its rusty dust coloured soil and hazy pink sky. A couple of slightly questionable elements crept in though, namely the huge size of the sand-storm which, as far as I know, was far greater than anything filmed by the current Mars rovers or orbiters, and the size of the sun which, surely ought to be virtually half the size it appears from Earth? No big deal though - I'm not that much of a geek to let trivia such as that ruin my enjoyment of a movie.
OK so onto the good stuff. Firstly the film generates a genuine sense of wonder about the prospect of detecting alien life. There is plenty of tension - I loved the efforts to keep the solar-electric powered vehicle going, when something nasty is in pursuit. There are several effective make-you-jump moments - not the least of which is the first shocking sight of the "entity", and there is some nice zero-G action - obviously not up there with Gravity, but subtly done all the same. The way our hero brushed the floating droplets of contaminated blood to one side was a clever touch.
A couple more negative points; The Last Days on Mars does owe a fair bit to the likes of Alien and the more recent Apollo 18. Most obvious similarities being the crawling through tunnels sequence and reaching the escape ship, only to find it has an unwelcome resident. But I'm willing to consider those nods as laudatory hat-tips rather than rip-offs. Also one action sequence was spoiled for my by the gross overuse of flashing lights and an extreme shaky-cam effect, which rendered it unwatchable - rather like the squid alien/caesarian sequence in Prometheus.
It's solidly acted throughout (with the possible exception of the slightly hysterical/hammy Yusra Warsama) and the score is memorable and complementary. Some may find the ending a bit of a cop-out, but I felt it was cleverly enigmatic and at least it gave us something to discuss over dinner afterwards.
Overall, this movie looks good, sounds good and the action is for the most part very good.
Sci-fi fans shouldn't be disappointed.
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Initial post: 21 Jun 2014 20:12:07 BDT
Timelord - 007 says:
Brilliant spot on review.
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