The Martian is a science fiction movie about a NASA program on Mars and the scientists working there. Everything is great at first, but, predictably, disaster strikes, and the team of scientists must evacuate the planet. However, one of the scientists, Mark Watney, a botanist, is hit by debris during the severe storm and presumed dead. Now alone on the planet, Watney must either adapt to survive or die. Although his future is bleak, Watney decides to give it his all. His brilliant botanist skills come in handy as he finds a way to
provide a food supply to survive until the next Mars mission when, he presumes, he will be rescued. Taking a positive view of the situation, Watney says, “They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!” Watney says this after brilliantly figuring out how to grow crops on Mars’ harsh terrain. After being alone and initially unable to communicate, Watney finds a creative and surprising way to eventually get in touch with NASA, which will hopefully lead him to a safe return to Earth. This movie is riddled with incredible breakthroughs as well as well as devastating failures and setbacks.
The Martian premiered October 2nd and is currently playing in theaters. The movie, directed by Ridley Scott, is based on the popular book by Andy Weir. Predictably, the movie is said to be worse than the book, but nowadays this is only to be expected. While some of the book’s vulgar language and length were cut out, the movie is accurate and even word-for-word with the book at some points. One of the ways it is mostly accurate to the book is the length and detail the movie goes into. At two hours and 22 minutes, the
movie is long. However, while watching, I was never bored and didn’t find myself checking the time once. After the 122 minute movie was over, my fellow moviegoers babbled about the plot and other aspects and not about the length. Everyone I have talked to enjoyed the movie for its thrill and humor. The Martian is appropriately rated as PG-13. Though the book is vulgar and littered with swear words, the movie does a good job at trimming down the adult content. A thrilling movie, the film also has a good deal of humor. Matt Damon’s perfectly delivered humor gives comic relief in the most serious, dire situations, such as: “I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the greatest botanist on this planet”.
With an impressive 93% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is a favorite of critics and regular moviegoers. Another review website, Empire, says “Anchored by another great turn from Matt Damon, The Martian mixes smarts, laughs, weird character bits and tension on a huge canvas. The result is Scott’s most purely enjoyable film for ages.”
Our very own movie expert (and Upper School English teacher) Mr. Josh Katz says this about The Martian: “The Martian‘s setup promises sober thrills (Gravity meets Cast Away, maybe), and while the film does generate a lot of suspense from Watney’s predicament, it is also funnier and more idiosyncratic than you might expect. We see its offbeat rhythms in the performances from Damon (who, as 30 Rock and the four Dogma fans out there can attest, has an unsung flair for the wry one-liner), Kristen Wiig, Michael
Peña, and Community‘s Donald Glover (who steals every scene he’s in as a brilliant and extremely antisocial astrophysicist), or in Drew Goddard’s script, which plays like a Joss Whedon-penned version of Apollo 13, so committed is the text to foregrounding the witty pop-culture gag over larger moments of extreme peril and catastrophe (not a surprise, given that Goddard got his big break writing for Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then co-created the brilliant postmodern slasher Cabin in the Woods with Whedon). The end result is director Ridley Scott’s most enjoyable, human-scaled picture since 2007’s underrated American Gangster.”
Another Collegiate scholar, Carly Hayes (‘16), says “Matt Damon is a glorious actor”. This seems to be a general consensus and a major factor in everyone’s enjoyment of the film. Everyone seems to enjoy this film, and I would recommend it to everyone!
Cover photo: 20th Century Fox