The Martian – Movie Review
The Martian – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 02 Oct 2015
Ridley Scott directs this adaptation of Andy Weir’s book starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney, an astronaut who is assumed dead and left by a manned mission to Mars. With few resources and a rescue years from being possible, Watney must figure out basic survival, communication and ultimately how to return to Earth.
The Martian is one of the best-paced movies I’ve ever seen. Scott uses his considerable skills at creating suspense to make every inch of the journey feel like a huge milestone; But unlike Alien or even Gravity, The Martian sets itself apart by making Damon’s character funny. He’s dry, sarcastic, and has a penchant for throwing out expletives that put a grin on your face.
Back on Earth, NASA is dealing with how to help Watney. Rather than have two or three stereotypical characters the movie has an enormous and quality ensemble cast each offering their perspective while giving the sense of the scale and specializations within the space program. Then there’s also the crew of the Hermes that accidentally abandoned Watley and also try to help with the rescue effort.
With all of these people and the three different locales (Mars, Earth and the Hermes) it would be easy for the movie to take on one too many subplots and have a section that is a drag to go back to. Fortunately, every scene in The Martian is moving the story forward. We don’t visit the Hermes unless it forwards the plot. The same thing goes for Earth. It makes the movie fly by and makes every decision and interaction meaningful and memorable.
The Martian is a gorgeous film in 3D and a compelling argument in favor of the wonders of space exploration. A theatrical experience on the largest screen and 3D is the best way to experience it, but more importantly it shouldn’t be missed any way you can get out and see it; truly one of the best of the year.
Aaron, Cal and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: