In 1979, when Ridley Scott has reinvigorated the union between horror and science fiction, (but already in ’56 McLeod Wilcox had already had something to offer in the “Forbidden Planet”), the studios were rubbing their hands, and while the audience were shaking knees, the cinema was watering the soil cool for seasons to come.
Followed not only green grass and the key of Alien, fear of the unknown that rummages around in the bowels of the viewer, most of the time it was thwarted in the endless re-readings of the following titles more or less significant on a scenic but certainly less attractive from the point of view empathy, consideration also extended to the alleged prequel “Prometheus.”
At the intersection of the two genres you stumble in “The Last Days On Mars ‘big-screen debut of Irish director Ruairi Robinson, on a script by Clive Dawson, inspired by the short story” The Animators’, Sydney J. Bounds.
“The Last Days” is basically a collector of memories, which are paid in a very casual and hurried the most basic components for the construction of a cinema as never impersonal and predictable, where bacteria are mixed with alien zombie infection and the stage of deserts of the Red Planet (but in reality is Jordan) and in the corridors of a spaceship.
After six months spent on Mars in search of life forms, the members of a team of scholars and scientists are preparing to return to Earth on board the Aurora. But 19 hours after departure from the Base Tantalus, a member dell’equipaggi, Marko (Goran Kostic), moves away from the station with the permission of the captain ripped Brunel (Elias Koteas) in a crevice and discovers a colony of fossil organisms, finding that the man does not want to share with colleagues.
When Marko will be back on board the ship, infected by a virus and become a zombie mutant, Vincent (Liev Schreiber), Rebecca (Romola Garai), the frustrated Kim (Olivia Williams) and the rest of the team will have to tackle the spread of a ‘ infection that turns people into the undead. Nothing parading before the eyes that has not already been seen in the plots of an ordinary film plagued by boredom and repetition between the longings of “2001-A Space Odyssey” are caught in securities of each substance, from “Alien” the minimalist “Moon” from “Pandorum” to “The Red Planet” impossibly “Apollo 18.”
Robinson has to stick to a budget, and you notice, but it seems to miss the imagination and the spirit, the economy confuses the means with the mannerisms and sketched a narrative that know immediately that false and drag with fatigue and exhaustion. The introduction is long and ground into the stereotypes and the second roller do you wait after a prologue exhausting and without consistency.
The obvious ambition remains to maiora suffered as a little too much ash and embers beneath the film does not shine intuitions, goes out of interest and does not grab attention. “The Last Days”, apart from the content, it is a job where talent and resources are not spread their wings, and the momentum remains limited as a kite with a short wire.
The formula is worn from wear and the composition of the work remains anchored to the usual clichés, where screams, genetic transformation, zombies, gurgling, exhaust the vocabulary of the cinema of infected, that they are either on Earth or in space, “World War Z “to” Ghosts of Mars “, the saga of” 28 Days Later “. Without any mutual chemistry, highly respected actors such as Schreiber, Romola Garai, Elias Koteas move in the scene, but without soul and empathy. The assembly, now slow and nerve-wracking, now frantic and incomprehensible, is the victim of a delusion that instead of strobe corroborate the sense of dynamics, has the irritant effect of exaggeration.
Surely driven by good intentions and a measured sense of ambition, here Robinson does not have wings to gain altitude and misses the target esprit. His universe is far from that of Urania Fruttero and Lucentini, from the “Borders of reality” by Ron Serling, from the space of Asimov, one where lurks the mystery and fear clings to the bowels.