I saw this movie two weeks ago and I was very excited to see it especially after reading the book. As Andy Weir had tried to stick to a realistic impression of an astronaut stranded on Mars, I had only hoped the movie would follow the same style. Luckily it stuck very closely with the book, given the odd exception here and there. The book was jam-packed with facts, numbers and references to past and future missions on Mars, so it’s understandable that the movie had condensed this into an action packed two hours that had me on the edge of my seat despite having already read the book and knowing what was going to happen.
When I found out Ridley Scott was going to be directing the movie I couldn’t help but get a little excited. Being the mastermind behind science fiction movies like Alien which I really enjoyed and still do from time to time, I couldn’t help but look forward to The Martian. However I was slightly worried with it being directed by Ridley Scott that it might contain some strange aliens or unusual features but my wild thoughts were put to rest when I read he had even contacted NASA to ensure an accurate credibility in the plot.
Matt Damon did a phenomenal job as Mark Watney who is the main character stranded on Mars after his crew mates were forced to leave during a storm. Thinking Watney was killed they had no choice but to evacuate as soon as they could. As Watney comes round in the Martian soil he realises his predicament and begins working on a way to survive. This was captured perfectly in the movie and Matt Damon played a very convincing Watney as not only is he faced with the prospect of dying on an inhabitable planet but he is humorous and intriguing all at once. It was refreshing to watch a character who is stranded and makes a plan for survival and faces problems head on without the hysteria, panic and tears.
The setting was believable and almost as I had imagined it whilst reading the book. I felt the scenes on Mars were very well done given it couldn’t be filmed in the real destination. It shows the vastness of the planet, the dry and dusty climate not to mention the unpredictable weather with dust storms and dust devils. Back on Earth I thought the peak into NASA buildings, the Chinese space agency and around the world were all very well done too. However I did read in an article that the offices at NASA are not identical to what viewers see in the movie because they are federal buildings and are a tad exaggerated in the movie.
I chose to see The Martian in 3D and as the case with many movies I’m undecided whether it was worth seeing in this style. I find that most movies released these days lack the punch with 3D apart from the odd scene here and there. Again The Martian may have been the best of a bad bunch in that the parts that were 3D were done well however the entire movie wasn’t as mind-blowing as I’d hoped in the sense of 3D.
The overall plot, actors, actresses and setting made this one of my favourite movies of 2015 so far and the only reason I am reluctant to use the phrase ‘best movie of the year’ is because I’m holding out for Mockingjay Part 2 before I make any irrational decisions. In saying this, it may not be the movie for everyone as i did see The Martian with my fiancé who admitted afterwards that he found it a tad boring in parts and a bit slow. I on the other hand being a bit of an Astronomy, Space and Sci-Fi junkie didn’t find one part of it boring as my eyes were glued to the screen.
Nevertheless if you haven’t seen The Martian add it to your list and move it to the top
as this movie will be the talk of the town for some time yet, not only for it’s high film qualities but for its injection of interest into a manned mission to Mars which NASA is hoping to achieve by 2035, given they secure the necessary funding. I would also recommend picking up the book either before or after the movie because it has the power to capture the reader, encourage their interest in Space and get them laughing as they follow Watney on his journey across the red planet.