B-movie meets Blockbuster – ★★★
Irish director Ruairi Robinson has been cutting his teeth on short films and commercials like all good directors and his first feature is a valiant effort with some amazing visuals.
According to IMDB the film had an estimated budget of €8.5million which is pretty small change when you think that Captain America: The Winter Soldier had an estimated budget of €125million. So Ruairi along with the team at Screen Scene have managed to make a film that looks like a sci-fi blockbuster for B-movie money. The B-movie tag is also appropriate regarding the story as we see a bunch of astronauts are winding up their mission on Mars and preparing for the relief crew. Unfortunately they realise they aren’t alone and it becomes a very real possibility that they may never make it home again.
It’s best to go in uninformed as the realisation of what is going on will give rise to a wry smile. It doesn’t outstay its welcome clocking in around the ninety minute mark and has an ending that leaves you sufficiently satisfied. The acting cast has some weighty and noteworthy additions; Liev Screiber’s recent turn in TV show Ray Donovan showed he can really act and here he gives a convincing performance as a panic attack prone astronaut. Any film starring Elias Koteas should arouse curiosity as he is a rare breed of actor doing what interests him and never playing to type. Decent turns from Olivia Williams and Romola Garai make it a well rounded cast with Yusra Warsama being the only real dud.
Where it falls down is on the dialogue, it’s pretty scarce in the first instance and seems cliched and lacking in depth but a B-movie is never supposed to be Shakespeare. The Last Days on Mars is an enjoyable addition to the genre that will hopefully be a spring board for Ruairi to continue on to future features.
Released in Ireland in selected cinemas on the 11th of April