The Martian Movie Review: First there was Apollo 13, then there was The Martian

Movie Review

The Martian 

Genre:Adventure, Drama, Science-Fiction

Director: Ridley Scott (Alien/Gladiator)

Writer: Drew Goddard (Daredevil Netflix Series/Cloverfield/ Cabin in the Woods)
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels

It’s been a few weeks since I went to the movies, I was biding my time and waiting for the right film to see. Finally, The Martian came out and timing was perfect. The Martian had a little bit of everything and it was some of Matt Damon’s and Ridley Scott’s finest work.

The film had so much talent in it, I wondered if it could ever live up to expectations. Somehow, it did (at least for me).  Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney was excellent. He fully submerged himself into that role. As far as the acting goes, the entire cast did really well, in particular those working for NASA on Earth.  You could also see Ridley Scott’s style in the film. He works movies in space better than most will ever hope.

The sets were beautiful, the score quite fitting, great work by the camera crew and the special effects crisp.   Thismovie wasn’t flashy, but more practical in how it used effects (I wish more films would do that).

The film was able to build suspense from start to finish. The final thirty minutes had me completely hooked. The movie have had  some minor holes here or there, but in large part the science was sound. You can feel some of NASA’s influence which made it feel more authentic.  In all, this movie was a well executed science fiction drama with solid characters, and everlasting hope in face of impossible odds.   Oh and let’s not forget there was bits of humor scattered throughout, nothing too elaborate, but situational humor that often worked. (Movie was funnier than literally half of the comedies I watched this year.)

This film also dives into the importance of space exploration and of NASA. We need to keep NASA alive and funded. To keep reaching for the stars and planets, it is humanity’s only hope about survival and also protection.

Minor Spoiler Alert!!!

The film also shows that the rest of the world has space programs too and they are coming up with some fascinating technology and ideas.  I feel the movie suggested that should be neglect our space program, we will eventually be left behind in space exploration. As a nation and as a general public, we need to care more about this issue. Not so much to be in a space race, but rather to be part of a greater future. Ally ourselves and unite for the common goal of eventual survival.

The film is not perfect. For one thing, it sometimes leaves Mark Watney on Mars for long stretches of time.  The most interesting aspect of the film was what Watney was facing. The various dilemma’s he had to overcome and how he managed to keep hope alive in the worst of times. I agree fully that the film needed to break down the other side of things happening on Earth (the film was stayed fairly loyal to the source material), but sometimes drifted too far from there. How are they going to save him was important, but that could have been cut back just a bit for me.

I generally liked the cast, but something about the crew on the Hermes spaceship. It felt like they were out of place at times and lacking in any true emotion for much of the film with the exception of the captain. They weren’t bad, but I didn’t feel these characters nearly as much as I hoped.

I really liked this movie. It is actually my favorite of all the recent space movies (been a growing number of good ones). It had drama, humor, hope, great music, beautiful effects and cinematography and wasn’t ridiculously long (looking at you Interstellar!) The characters were all likable enough to root for. A wonderful film throughout and I’m so leased it came together this awesome.


Love it

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Matt Damon was great, the cast around him was excellent as well. Good cinematography and special effects, great sound. They did their research.  Plus, the length was just about right.  I can’t say I’d go and buy this film, but I will say it’s my favorite space movie made in the last five years.

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