I’ve been eyeing The Martian since its inception. Though I’ve never read the book, the film’s premise was beyond interesting, and, with Matt Damon attached, I was all in.
The Martian’s story comes three-fold: Mark Watney’s (Damon) time on Mars, the Ares crew’s trip in space, and NASA’s attempt to save him. When a sudden storm on Mars hits the Ares crew, Captain Lewis (Jessica Chasten) is forced to abandon Watney because she thinks he’s dead. Despite being impaled during the storm, Watney lives and purposes to survive the planet’s harsh conditions. What follows is a harrowing tale that virtually feels like a part of American history, but ultimately proves that we spend too much money on saving Matt Damon from space.
Mark Watney: They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!
Obviously, Matt Damon’s performance is what stands out about this film. He has his quips and jokes, no doubt, but he also provides the real emotion a man in his position would face. He’s alone, faced with the threat of death by multiple factors, including starvation. Still, Watney alleviates the weight of his situation with his wit and determination even when things don’t work his way.
More than just Damon’s performance, The Martian is clearly an ensemble piece. When you have Jessica Chastain (Crimson Peak), Kate Mara (Fantastic Four), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Michael Pena (Ant-Man), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Z For Zachariah), Jeff Daniels (Steve Jobs), Donald Glover, Sean Bean (Game of Thrones), and Kristen Wiig (Wet Hot American Summer), you have to use them and everyone definitely gets their fair share of screen time. The planning and preparation to bring Watney home is a collaborative effort and requires some serious science on both his and NASA’s part.
Despite some lulls during the film’s nearly two and a half hour runtime, The Martian is a must-see film for 2015. If you liked Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and wouldn’t mind a bit of Matt Damon, catch The Martian in theaters!