Dir. Ridley Scott
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)
“Hi, I'm Mark Watney and I'm still alive... surprise!?”
Strap yourself in and prepare for a truly ‘out of this world’ quality sci-fi tale that doesn't skimp on the 'sci' and yet manages to still be thrilling, funny and life affirming…
Master Director Ridley Scott delivers an epic big screen adaptation by the best selling novel by Andy Weir. The plot tells the traumatic story of Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) - mistakenly presumed dead and abandoned on Mars by his crewmates. So, stranded and alone on the hostile red planet, Watney must find a way to establish contact with NASA and survive well beyond his meagre rations on a planet with no harvestable resources.
"look, he's right there..."
What follows is a survive-em-up blast that sees Watney’s human spirit and scientific skills stretched to the limit as he grapples with the challenge of surviving whilst millions of miles from safety. Back on earth our top minds including Head of NASA Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels) and director of the Mars missions Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetelu Ejiofor) struggle to come up with any sort of feasible contingency plan.
To make matters interesting Watney’s crewmates just might try the most life threateningly daring rescue mission ever committed to screen. As the action unfolds, you’ll be caught up in the high drama as the world comes together to root for Watney's safe return.
The film's script incorporates the book’s winningly humorous and genuinely interesting dialogue, it’s this balance of comic relief in the face almost certain death that makes The Martian so much fun to watch. Damon is great in the lead role, his narration is spot on and it’s also harrowing to see his body wasting away as his severe food rationing drains him.
The only minor weakness is for fans of the book’s numerous personal logs by Watney – many which have had to be jettisoned for time constraints – this means that viewers have to work a bit harder to invest enough empathy for the poor guy.
"in space, no-one can hear you swear"
Having said that though, it’s still wonderfully easy to get caught up in this science-based fable, packed with so much technical NASA jargon that you’ll feel like you might have got a bit smarter just from having been exposed to it. The supporting cast are good value too Danny ‘Community’ Glover brings some maverick youthful thinking and Watney’s crewmates who include Jessica ‘Interstellar’ Chastain as steely Captain Lewis and Kate ‘Captive’ Mara as the sexy crew nerd Johanssen, give good emotional core to the events.
Pretty much must see sci-fi fun for all the family (although be advised if taking younger members there are some very high levels of peril and some swear words)...
"Mars hasn't looked this pretty since Britney sang Oops I Did It Again!?"
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4.5 - one Martian you should ‘boldly go’ to see… )
Awesomeness öööö – some incredible and unforgettable scenes
Laughs öööö – some strong comedy elements and laugh out loud moments
Horror öö – gets very tense but not too nasty
Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - human spirit and science #FTW
"Houston, we have a problem"