The Martian Review

Preface

  • So, The Martian is the newest movie from Ridley Scott starring Matt Damon and a laundry list of other celebrities.
  • And it’s about Mark Watney (Damon) who is left on Mars, with few resources to survive in the aftermath of a mission gone awry.
  • Now we’ll get this out of the way first: yes, this is a VERY good movie.
  • No, I don’t think it’s the Messiah that a lot of other critics have been praising it to be though… Sorry!

Cast and Characters

  • The best part of this VERY good movie is the cast.
  • Matt Damon did a really good job as Watney, and it felt like (more so than any other film) that Damon was leading this one and had it all on his shoulders.
  • When a character is isolated on Mars like that, it’s important to have charisma and Damon surely had it.
  • The other actor I’ll talk about is Chiwetel Ejiofor, because this dude is getting nominated for an Oscar for this movie.
  • He was incredible!! He had a major role, but it easily could have felt like an unimportant one. Ejiofor brought that magnetism though that brought people into the NASA side of things.
  • Other than just them though, Jeff Daniels was really good in the movie, Sean Bean (who I didn’t know was in the movie…) was good in the movie. Ditto to Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, and really the entire cast.

Writing

  • The thing that makes this movie succeed is the thing that made Inside Out succeed: it assumed its audience was smart.
  • Not all humans are smart. This is a fact.
  • But almost all humans are smart to some degree, and this helps when watching The Martian.
  • This movie uses hard science, and because of how hard the science is, you believe that you could do the same things to survive if you were ever trapped on Mars.
  • The movie has really good comic relief too.
  • Like, every character in it has their moments to be funny. Damon particularly shines because he has plenty of time to himself.
  • The dialogue between characters is really good, and all the astronauts sound like astronauts.
  • Which is a little weird to say, but sometimes you assume that astronauts are like Matt Damon from Interstellar, and they’re these super up-on-themselves, smarty pants-es.
  • The astronauts in this movie were cool.
  • And they take techniques that worked well in Interstellar, and mainly Gravity (a movie I wasn’t a fan of…) and used each to their advantage. But it luckily never feels like anything is being ripped off, just slightly improved upon.
  • I will say though, the problems that I have with the movie are just some brief things in the writing.
  • First: the beginning is a little clunky. Like, from the time the crew leaves Damon to the first stop in with NASA just feels a bit awkward and like the movie is looking to find its stride.
  • Second: the end is a little long. They could have trimmed off maybe 5 or 10 minutes from the last 25 minutes of the movie.
  • I’ll say this: the ACTUAL end sequence is great. The closing one (you know what I mean, No Spoilers!) is done really well, but the setup before that could have been effectively trimmed.
  • Third: the movie didn’t leave me feeling very uplifted…
    • Sorry, that sounds a little nitpicky, but I thought that this movie would go in almost a Captain Phillips-esque direction and show the effects that the planet had on Watney right after he got off it, but it didn’t as much.
    • I just wish they took one or two jokes out and added in some emotion that made you leave the theater that night feeling really good that Damon made it home.
  • I dunno, maybe that’s just me!?

Direction

  • So Ridley Scott directed this movie, and it is really good.
  • Scott always knows how to do visuals well and Mars in this movie looks like Mars in real life.
  • Not just that either, but the crisp shots of the crew were cool, and there were some neat looking storms.
  • Scott always goes into super detail too with things, so it was cool seeing a probably fully functioning probe meander around.
  • The guy is back, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next now!

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion, The Martian is going to get a rating lower than Interstellar, but I probably enjoyed it more than Interstellar.
  • Which is saying something, since I really enjoyed Interstellar!
    • And I enjoyed it a lot more than Gravity…
  • But overall guys, the movie is well-acted, well-directed, beautifully realized for the big screen, and had some really good dialogue.
  • There were some clunky and awkward parts at times, but The Martian is a (very, very high) Good Time and Definitely Worth Checking Out.

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on The Martian! Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below! And as always, thanks for reading guys.

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