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The Last Days on Mars: A lifeless story for a lifeless planet

A scene from The Last Days on Mars.

Courtesy of Mongrel Media

2 out of 4 stars

Written by
Clive Dawson
Directed by
Ruairi Robinson
Starring
Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas, Romola Garai, Olivia Williams
Genre
Scifi
Classification
14A
Country
U.K./Ireland
Language
English
Year
2013

On the final day of a six-month Mars mission that's yielded nothing by way of life forms but plenty of close-quarter crankiness, an international scientific team – headed by Elias Koteas, and staffed by Liev Schrieber, Romola Garai and Olivia Williams – stumbles upon a virulent bacterial entity that livens up the dullness: One by one, they're transformed into raging homicidal zombie-nauts.

But their excitement is our tedium, as the question of life on Mars is invariably supplanted by the wondering of just who needs another by-the-numbers outer-space riff on Alien, The Thing and the zombie-siege scenario?

Although ably directed by feature first-timer Ruairi Robinson, and gamely performed by a cast professional enough to feign alarm and surprise, The Last Days on Mars ultimately confirms what science has already spent billions of dollars establishing: There's just no life here.

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Geoff More

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