The Martian is about an astronaut stuck on Mars, how he survives and how he gets rescued. The film is directed by Ridley Scott and written by Drew Goddard based on the book by Andy Weir. It stars Matt Damon in the title role, and features Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebatian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Donald Glover.
The good; it’s Ridley Scott, at least it’s the Ridley we know and love with his epicly awesome movies. He really does know how to direct sci-fi films. Everything looked great in this film, that’s part of why his directing works here, he knows how to use practical effects. The opening scene with the Martian storm is very believable even though you can’t see a lot due to all the dust and debris everywhere, but it works in establishing the world and the danger of this alien planet.
There’s also use of the mounted cameras on the space suits, which add a bit of the hand held quality, but it’s not overly used and thereby not distracting to the point of nausea.
This movie is not only a sci-fi movie, but a disaster movie. When you take apart the movie… there’s no bad guy, and you don’t realize that while you’re watching, because the story captures you completely. You’re there with Matt Damon and you’re there with the crew, you’re also there with the folks back at NASA (even though some of them might seem like bad guys). If we had to identify a bad guy… it would be nature, a force we have no control over. Bravo on the directing, the writing, and the acting, if these parts weren’t so strong we’d notice that we were lacking a villain.
The bad; Matt Damon (Team America voice)… there’s a lot of Damon here. If you love him or hate him, that’ll play a factor here
The Mars spacesuits look a little too hip. During the Martian storm that piece of debris should’ve torn right through Damon’s suit, instead of compromising it.
Oh and Fox sucks! Booooo! Booooo urns!
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Ridley Scott should do more sci-fi movies like this instead of doing another Prometheus (let that franchise die). All the right piece were here as I mentioned above, but I have to mention the awesome production designs, they’re near future but not out of logic’s reach. I found myself rooting for everyone in the movie, from the stranded astronaut, to the crew that thought he died, to the NASA and JPL folks… really nicely done.
Oh and there’s a Lord of the Rings reference with Sean Bean, awesome!