Fueled by a thrilling performance from Matt Damon and a skilled direction from Ridley Scott; The Martian brings out the best of both Damon and Scott in this sci-fi epic.
Ridley Scott rediscovers his artistic skill in this man vs. space epic. Scott has been a bit wobbly in the director’s chair ever since his Oscar winning film Gladiator (2000). We have seen the good (Black Hawk Down, American Gangster and Prometheus), the bad (A Good Year and Robin Hood) and the ugly (The Counselor) from Scott. Now, all of that has changed with The Martian, while Scott is reborn again has one of Hollywood’s most innovative directors. The Martian is based off of Andy Weir’s bestselling debut novel and will send space nerd’s on geek mode; I know that I did.
The Martian is now as thought provoking as past sci-fi epics like Interstellar or 2001: A Space Odyssey, nevertheless, it’s a thrilling life or death film. Matt Damon is lost in space and is presumed dead after being left behind from his crew due to a fierce storm on Mars. This manned mission on Mars crumbles only after 18 sols (a sol is a day) on the red planet. The NASA botanist (Damon) realizes fast that he’s pretty much screwed unless he can find a way to grow food on Mars.
Astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) only has food to last him for a month and it will take another four years for a rescue team to save him … you do the math. In Watney’s own words; he’s going to have to "science the shit out of this.” Watney realizes that he is able to grow potatoes by using his owe feces as manure to fertilize it. His crew, including Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Aksel Hennie and Sebastian Stan and Jessica Chastain, all believe that Watney has died during the dust storm and are on their way back home from the aborted mission.
Back at home; NASA director (Jeff Daniels) and his PR specialist (Kristen Wiig) are trying to keep NASA from running into communications crisis when they learn that Watney is still alive. While, Mars expert (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his team are constantly crunching numbers to get Watney home safe and sound. The Martian is a huge propaganda boost for NASA and gives the audience a big picture at space travel. America has spent so much money rescuing Damon’s ass from films like Saving Private Ryan, Interstellar and now The Martian.
These "leave no man behind" pictures showed us that Damon was worth every penny. Damon infused the film with his heroic performance and with the occasional wise cracks to keep the film smart. This is a grand turn around for Scott as a visionary director. Kudos to the FX team and cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Walk) for effectively bringing the red planet to life and excelling The Martian as one of the best films of the year. From the disco tracks to the occasional “f*** you Mars,” we are with Watney every step of the way. The Martian keeps you glued to your chair for the entire 142 minutes, bravo Mr. Scott.
The Martian is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.
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