The Martian

Matt Damon’s latest film is one which does not disappoint.  Just like Black Mass and Straight Outta Compton, two films I wrote about previously, I would label The Martian as a must see.  Believe it or not I’m actually a very critical person, and it’s rare for me to love three movies in a row, but this film just doesn’t fall short.  Fall season tends to be a pretty good time of year for movies, as the closer we get to the end of the year the more Studios start to have their eyes on Oscars.  I don’t see this space film as being the next Gravity where it wins half the Oscar awards,  but I do think the movie, and its performances, were excellent.

Damon plays Mark Watney, who is left behind after a deadly storm separates him from his team during an emergency evacuation from Mars.  Watney specializes in Botony, and he uses his brilliancy in order to adapt and survive on Mars for what ends up being over a year.  While I was fully aware the film was fiction, in fact it was based on a book, I could not help but watch in awe at Watney’s capabilities.  He found a way to produce water and plant potatoes “on a planet where nothing grows”, dramatically extended a rovers battery life, and in what was perhaps the most radical scene in the film, was rescued by shooting himself through space by piercing a hole in his suit. Whether any of that is realistic or not I honestly have no idea, but I watched the film wondering if maybe it would be, which to me is always a mark of a good film.

My favorite part of the movie was the wit Watney’s character possessed, and Damon’s effectiveness in the role.  Since he is alone, Watney spends his time talking to a camera and recording and documenting his movements and ideas. The concept reminded me of Tom Hanks’ character in Cast Away and how he treats Wilson, a volleyball, as if it were another person.  The major distinction between the two is that in The Martian Damon’s character is much more sarcastic and the overall feeling in the film is not nearly as dark.  The conversations Watney would have with the camera, and even with the people he was in contact with were quite funny and was an aspect I am not accustomed to watching in movies that take place in space.

If you’re someone who looks for realism in a film this may not be the one for you, or maybe it is, truly I have no clue if anything in the movie would actually be possible, I know very little about space.  Either way, I can promise the film is entertaining.  It is over two hours, but it is time and money well spent.  So next time you’re bored on a rainy day know that you won’t be disappointed with The Martian.

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