Note: I’ve started publishing video reviews on YouTUBE. Check out the review for The Martian.
So, with the release of The Martian, Ridley Scott adds another film into the box of space exploration films out there. With Matt Damon stuck alone on a planet. With Jessica Chastain millions of miles away, upset about him being marooned over there. Well if you’re a fan of the outer space, and you haven’t read The Martian, this is a movie you should definitely check out.
One might ask “Interstellar did all of this just ten months ago so why are we forced to watch the same movie again?” Turns out The Martian is not the same movie – it’s a completely different. A great return to form for Ridley Scott and written with a lot passion by Drew Goddard, The Martian is an incredibly smart and entertaining twist on the space movie as you know it.
Adapting the self-published novel by Andy Weir, Scott and his screenwriter, Lost and Cabin in the Woods scribe Drew Goddard, get the premise speedily up and running: a manned mission to Mars, with six astronauts tasked with bringing back samples, is thrown into disarray when heavy weather blows in.
The film is full of stunning visuals with the Martian landscapes that our protagonist Mark Wattney explores.
Ironically, given that Mark’s sending all his winking messages into a void, communication is Damon’s genius: he’s built up such a strong relationship with audiences over the years that we know exactly how to read him for an impending burst of irony or a fit of pique, milliseconds before it comes on. And he’s great at fatigue, and indulging himself with childish strops, and holding back emotion when there’s practical MacGyvering to be done, which is for months on end.
But despite all these, I’ve felt several times while watching The Martian, that it somehow lacked in portraying the intensity of the event itself. An astronaut stranded on a planet 225 miles from Earth, thit in itself is a mammoth event. Also, the travels Mark does on Mars, seems like travelling from Home to Work. He very peacefully rests under the shade of his rover and is doing an EVA, anytime and everytime.
In the book Mark Wattney has a lot of problems on his plate, and that is the scenario till the end. And though a movie is suppossed to be more thrilling than a book with the advantage of the addeed visual element, I never felt the same chills while watching the movie. The only times that I was bitng my nails was during the initial sandstorm and the final launch.
But, in all, with this film, Ridley Scott re-enters the Sci-fi genre. And he also gifts us some brilliant performances from some great actors.
I’m going out with three-and-half out of five stars for Ridley Scot’s The Martian. Watch it for its very believable space exploration and the predicament of a “space-pitate”. But if you’re really up for the chills, go and read the book.