Once more Hollywood has deemed it necessary to go off and rescue Matt Damon. Once more, it is spectacular.
The Martian is a wonderful combination of Apollo 13, Castaway, The Right Stuff, with a dash of Lord of the Rings, and a dollop of Ironman. The story is about an astronaut stranded on Mars after his crewmates think him dead – and the incredible story of what they have to go through to rescue him.
Much of the movie is Damon talking to himself (recording log entries) as he struggles to turn a habitat designed for 30 days into over a year’s worth of food and water. Where the movie Castaway gets too caught up in the mundane at times, The Martian is quick paced. Everything that can go wrong to his character does, and up to the end of the film, you’re not really sure he will make it.
The writing of this film is superb. The characters are simple – yet complex. At first you start to hate the Director of NASA (Jeff Daniels) but after a while, you learn that he is a man in a very difficult position, making difficult decisions. This is a film where females get top billing too. The female characters save the day, many times over. The lines the writers put in, little Easter Eggs for The Lord of the Rings and Apollo 13 are wonderful, perfect for geeks like me that spotted them.
It is a science fiction film where the special effects and technical mumbo-jumbo is kept at a minimum. Like all good sci fi, this is about the characters. This is a film I want to take my grandson to so he can see how and why science is so important. It is a movie that makes us look up at the stars and tries to rekindle that feeling of adventure we all felt when the space program meant something more than supply missions.
My best metric for the movie was my wife loved it. She didn’t fall asleep during the movie and we were chatting about it for hours afterwards.
Five out of five stars. Don’t wait to see this at home. The Martian is something that should be experienced on the big screen!