An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive and can survive until a potential rescu... Read allAn astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive and can survive until a potential rescue.An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive and can survive until a potential rescue.
Although The Martian gives us just an occasional low, tasteful rumble when spaceships fly by, that's the least of its scientific transgressions, and things get pretty "Mars Attacks" preposterous in the final 20 minutes. Normally I wouldn't even bring this up since basically EVERY space movie in the history of EVER, except for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1969), has sound effects in space. But the problem is that "The Martian" takes a very committed, scientific, realistic tone which sets us up for an extremely scientific, realistic story. It falls short on that mark, and rather than bore you and pretentiously inflate my own ego by pointing out every flaw, I'll let you read the other reviews, or better yet: just accept that there are scientific loopholes so big that you can drive a Quasar through it (and I'm not talking about the car made in 1967).
Ok if I haven't lost you, then let's talk about the fun stuff. The special effects are FANTASTIC. Director Ridley Scott ("Alien", "Blade Runner") outshines himself once again with a truly magnificent feast for the eyes, and especially if you watch it on a large UHD screen, that alone is worth the price of admission.
The story itself is riveting. It's a tale of survival on a barren planet where Matt Damon fights a constant battle NOT against little green men or pew-pew "laser" beams but against the cold and sterile reality of space. That was my favorite part of the movie, the fact that it can carry our interest for 2 1/2 hours with the only real conflict being how to survive on a planet where nothing works.
Matt Damon does an incredible job of acting, portraying a complex character who realizes he's a dead man but rises to the challenge and pits every brain cell he's got against the universe. Similar to the excellent "Cast Away" or even the iconic "Papillon", it's a story about never giving up even if it kills you, and that regardless of whether we get a happy ending or a sad one, is the takeaway of this flick.
I would group this film with other modern, minimalistic sci-fi flicks that take a realistic ("boring" to some) approach but deliver a lot of drama. Flicks like "Moon", "Solaris", or on the older shelf "Contact", "2010" and possibly even the grandfather of them all, "2001" (though don't get your hopes up too high as I mentioned up front) will give you a taste for what's in store if you decide to watch "The Martian".
- Sep 21, 2019