“The Martian” Movie Review

Imagine the film Cast Away meets Apollo 13 with the sci-fi flavors of Interstellar, and what’s the final result? Ridley Scott’s modern masterpiece, The Martian. This science-fiction adventure movie was released on October 2nd, 2015, thus far earning itself $227.3 million at the worldwide box office, but has the potential to do so much better. So I’ll keep this review nice and short so you can do what I think you should be doing, SEEING THE MOVIE! Seriously, get out of your computer chair and go see it with some friends. Based upon the scientifically accurate Andy Weir novel of the same name, a group of astronauts on a mission on Mars are forced to abandon their mission in the wake of a huge planetary storm. Mark Watney is lost in the chaos and presumed dead by his teammates, who have to leave in order to stay alive. It turns out that Watney has survived, but his communications array has been destroyed, making it extremely difficult to contact NASA. Luckily he’s a botanist, saying that in order to survive the next few years on Mars that has to “science the shit of this.” Rarely has a profane statement been taken literally, as he actually uses the poop of himself and his crew mates to harvest some potatoes. Meanwhile back on Earth, NASA, who had been under the impression that he died, debate over whether it’s worth risking millions of dollars and the lives of the rest of Watney’s crew to save just one man on a distant planet. I’ll just cut to the film’s three biggest strong points to give an idea of how amazing it is. First, The Martian is a surprisingly funny and lighthearted survival story. In a premise that sounds dark and stressful, and there are a few moments like that, there are plenty of hilarious jokes and running gags that will make laugh out loud in the theater. Not only will the characters’ breakdown of the scientifically accurate devices sometimes amuse when they make a mistake or hilarious explosion, but one of the running gags is that the only music Mark Watney has on Mars is disco music. In fact the majority of the film’s soundtrack is made of disco dance tracks from the ’70s and ’80s. He constantly complains to his V-log that he’s grown irritated by it. Second, the large ensemble cast, as a whole, puts on an amazing job at their jobs. In particular, Sean Bean (who makes it to the end alive), Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover(A.K.A. Childish Gambino), Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, and Chiwetel Ejiofor give some of their most stripped down performances. At the center, Matt Damon shines as the extremely likable and intelligent botanist and astronaut stuck on Mars, Mark Watney, in perhaps his best role since Jason Bourne, Lastly, this is perhaps Ridley Scott’s only film with an optimistic tone and uplifting feel. The overall theme of people coming together to save one of their own kind and that they’re willing to make sacrifices for it is truly special. Once the film is over and humanity has celebrated with each other and made peace, you’re sure to walk out of the theater with a smile on your face. All in all, The Martian is an uplifting, hilarious, and scientifically accurate science fiction film that’s in the running for one of the best movies of the year. Now GO WATCH IT IN THEATERS!

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