You think Tom Hanks had it bad in Cast Away? At least he was still on Earth. I mean he even had a beach. Matt Damon was stuck on Mars. Damon-1 Hanks-0.
The Martian is about an American astronaut named Mark Watney (Damon) who is part of a team that lands on Mars for exploration. A huge storm pops up and Watney is injured and presumed dead when his team can’t find him. It then shows what he does to survive and the people back on Earth do to get him home.
This movie draws many comparisons in all the reviews out there. Some people say it’s a cross between Cast Away and Apollo 13. Others compare it to Gravity and/or Interstellar. But this movie is good enough to stand on its own and not compare it to anything. This will be one that we compare future movies to. It’s fantastic. Just starting off, it’s visually stunning; even more so than Everest was. It looks like it was filmed on Mars, which for obvious logistical reasons it wasn’t. Beyond the visuals, this is probably Matt Damon’s best performance to date. We spend most of our time with him alone on Mars which could have been a disaster. But he keeps you captivated and interested the whole time. The supporting cast is huge and filled with big name actors- Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Sean Bean just to name a few- who all do a great job. They all have great chemistry and we feel their connection to Watney, even though we rarely see them work together. Ridley Scott does a great job directing and pulling good performances from everyone and presenting the movie in a clear, focused way that everyone can understand. There is a lot of science but it is used in a way that the layman like myself can understand. In addition, some of the best moments were the humorous ones. The movie is very funny, which really works. It could have been dark and gritty given the subject matter but I think the lighter tone was a better fit and made it more enjoyable.
I’m not going to sit here and nitpick a bunch of negative things in a movie I enjoyed this much. However, I will say I didn’t love the ending. Some of the things they did were a little out there for me but I won’t spoil it here.
Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone. It’s very entertaining and well made. I’d suggest seeing it in the theater just to enjoy the full spectacle of it. My initial reaction and score after seeing it was a 5. But with the little bit at the end that just didn’t quite do it for me, I can’t get it there. The Martian gets a, still phenomenal, 4.75/5 (Comparison Score: Gravity- 3.75/5).
Let me know what you thought of The Martian in the comments.
Check out my top 10 Matt Damon movies here.
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