Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Drew Goddard
Based on: Andy Weir’s novel
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover
Seen on: 12.10.2015
Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is one of five astronauts who come to Mars on a rather routine mission. But then things start going wrong and they have to leave – only that Mark gets injured and to his colleagues he looks like he’s dead. With a heavy heart, they decide to leave without him. But Mark survives miraculously. Now he’s alone. On Mars. With very limited supplies. And a broken communication system. And he only has himself to make his supplies last long enough so that he may be rescued.
Since I really loved the novel the film is based on and the previews I saw for the movie looked great, my expectations for the Martian were pretty high. So when I say that the movie totally fulfilled my expectations, you know that this is high praise indeed.
The Martian has a lot to offer – a whole lot of entertainment, a wonderful sense of humor and an exuberant joy when it comes to science (hm, that actually sounds like a great person to date). What I probably liked most about it, though, was that it just shows geeks the way I know them. There’s no doubt about it: all of them (except maybe Kirsten Wiig’s Annie) are nerds to the core. But The Martian is far from The Big Bang Theory clichés, and even when they do come close (with Donald Glover’s Rich), it’s just one further form of nerddom that also exists and social awkwardness/being on the autistic spectrum does not become an integral part of being nerdy.
The cast was great as well and it felt like they were totally enjoying themselves. Michael Peña in particular is having a great year and The Martian is definitely no exception. It was also wonderful that we got such a diverse cast (although I was a little disappointed – as much as I enjoy Mackenzie Davis – that Mindy was not Asian in the film).
I was also fascinated by how well they abridged the book. In the film so much less goes wrong than in the book, but it would have been impossible to include all the little catastrophes that were covered in the book anyway and I thought that they picked and chose nicely. Only the comment with the space pirate doesn’t make much sense anymore because [SPOILERS] Mark doesn’t lose communication again with Earth, so they can and do tell him to commandeer the ship before entering. [/SPOILERS] But I can easily overlook that.
I would have never expected that disco music would work so well in combination with space, but somehow it fits perfectly. The movie just does what Mark does in the film: taking high quality parts that weren’t necessarily supposed to work together and combining them into a well-functioning new whole.