The movie is centered on botanist Mark Watney, played by “Damon-sel” in distress Matt Damon, who is presumed dead, left behind on Mars after a massive sandstorm threatens him and the rest of his crew. Instead of a movie about a hoax Mars landing, it’s a movie about a fictional Mars landing that’s so plausible, people think it’s real.
It isn’t so much that NASA is the motion picture’s star, yet it plays well in the film – and more critical to the genuine NASA. Indeed, virtually everything in the movie has had the tick of approval from NASA and numerous independent scientists. “I’ve been a fan since Alien”. These things happen in the sci-fi game, but it’s an unlucky break for a filmmaker like Scott-since the days of Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), he’s put across a few truly fantastical conceits by coating his stories with a sheen of hard science.
In the opening scenes of The Martian, Mark is bantering with the crew and it looks like a prototypical ensemble space movie – until the storm hits.
After all, what else could go wrong?
Similar to “Interstellar”, “The Martian” takes the approach of science-fiction where the science is 90 percent of the film and fiction is 10 percent. The presumption is he’s not alive – but they subsequently find out he is alive and he’s on the Red Planet.
I mean, we haven’t been thrilled with the guy lately, but we don’t have to keep exiling him to inhospitable planets. This scene is mediocre-to say the least-thanks to unconvincing acting. But it was really fun. Would he not want to see and hear from them more? I am colonizing Mars, growing potatoes. “Luckily, Ridley doesn’t do too many takes”.
A story well told even with a lot of plot points of disbelief, “The Martian” is a 3-D must-see that touches on the kind of unity that should be possible with space travel and how a single person can bring a world together.
The film adaptation of The Martian drops the audience head first into the action, only devoting a minute or two to playful banter between the six Mars astronauts before a terrestrial storm causes the team to abort their mission and leave Matt Damon behind. Nations and cultures unite to save one man.
There is a nice ending to this wonderful, tense, uplifting movie that should be rewarded at Oscar time.
Overall, The Martian is a jaw-dropping, multi-sensory experience that will make you relieved to remember you’re safe on Earth. It’s a weird thing because it’s like, he’s self-aware because people are probably going to watch this video of him someday…