Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The Martian is the newest film brought to us by director Ridley Scott. It is based on the best-selling novel by author Andy Weir, which is an excellent read. It stars Matt Damon as Astronaut/Botanist Mark Watney who is a member of the Ares III mission to Mars. When a massive storm threatens to strand him and his fellow astronauts on the “Fourth Rock from the Sun”, Mission Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) decides to pull the plug. During the evacuation, Mark Watney is killed by flying debris. Except he wasn’t. Stranded on Mars alone, Watney must put his scientific mind to the test if he wants to survive long enough to be rescued. If you read my 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2015 post, you’ll know that I had this movie at Number 1 on that list. So did it live up to expectations?
The Martian is an amazing film. If the premise alone doesn’t convince you to see this movie, the directing by Ridley Scott and performances by Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, and the entire rest of the cast definitely should.
This film sucks you in with magnificent sweeping shots of everyone’s favorite Red Planet. It really gives you a sense of how beautiful a giant, crimson rock can be. It’s when you get into the story of this film that you discover how dangerous it can also be.
The idea for this story is such a great one that it would be very easy to get predictable, but you are kept constantly on the edge of your seat by all of the challenges that Watney faces. Most of which, are not results of storms on Mars or by the unforgivingness of Mother Nature, but are rather caused by pure human error. Personally, I have read the book that this film is based on, so I generally knew what to expect. Nevertheless, the way that director Ridley Scott crafted these intense situations had me fidgeting around, wincing, and literally putting me on the edge of my seat.
Surprisingly enough, this movie is hilarious! You would think that with something like this they would want to stay very serious and emotional with it. However, Watney’s sense of humor is in many ways, one of the few things keeping him sane. The way actor Matt Damon portrays this character was spot on as well. He was cast perfectly! I could very easily imagine him getting an Oscar nomination for this role. Although I do not think there is a chance of him actually winning the award.
It can be a very slippery slope making realistic science-fiction movies like this. Make it too scientific, and you will confuse half of your audience, and they won’t understand the movie (e.g. last year’s Interstellar). Make it too simplified, and it loses that feeling of “This could actually happen”. This film expertly walked that line, and you feel like somehow it’s telling you the story of events 10 years from now.
I left this movie with an enormous grin on my face. That grin stayed with me for a good 45 minutes to an hour after exiting the theatre. Mark Watney is such an inspiring character, and this film is so immersive that I would be baffled if it isn’t even considered for a Best Picture nominee. Although, I feel like the chances of it actually winning are very slim.
I absolutely loved this film, I can’t quite give it a 10/10 though. I can’t find really any gripes with it. However, when I give a movie a 10/10, I know that it deserves it no questions asked. I find myself questioning that with this film, so it didn’t quite get there.
What did you think of The Martian? Do you think it could get nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year? Let me know by commenting on this post!
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