Director Ridley Scott leads Matt Damon through a thrilling, sci-fi drama in The Martian. The film focuses on Mark Watney (Damon) an expert botanist that is on a mission on Mars with his crew when a powerful storm surges through. When Watney is hit and thrown from sight, the crew searches frantically for him before they have to exit Mars. After no sign of Watney the crew reluctantly leaves and Watney is presumed dead. NASA declares Watney dead, have a funeral for him, only to discover that by a miracle he not only survived the storm, but he will fight to survive. The problem? It could be years until he can be saved, and there are not enough supplies to keep him alive.
The Martian starts off with a bang, slowly introducing the audience to the wonderfully dynamic space crew laughing and joking on Mars as they attempt to complete their mission and showcasing the geniuses of NASA that aren’t just astronauts but work behind the scenes of the astronauts to ensure their missions are successful. But, after their operation turns awry and Watney is left for dead, the film although remains interesting, starts to slow after about an hour of certain ideas or tasks assigned go wrong and then essentially loses its luster.
The acting in the film is great. Matt Damon is the heart and soul of the title character The Martian. Although there are great performances by Jessica Chastain and Jeff Daniels, Damon is the only one worthy to discuss because his character was the main focus throughout the entire two and half hour film. Damon had to rely solely on himself with this character, as his performance had basically no interaction with any other characters for majority of the film. He created an individual that was not only a brilliant botanist, but he breathed life into a character that despite the hardships, can still dance to disco and find humor in his misfortunes. He was inspiring and determined to survive, and it was refreshing to witness a character so full of life when in reality his life was slowly ending.
The Martian is cinematically beautiful. Ridley Scott does a fantastic job creating Watney’s atmosphere on Mars as a beautiful desolate place. It’s scary to witness a character being the only person on an entire planet, and the planet having nothing but mountains-not a single tree or plant, no life form of any kind. Scott displays the tone perfectly right from the start, and continues to draw the audience in with his keen vision.
In conclusion, The Martian is highly recommended to anyone that enjoys sci-fi, Matt Damon or Ridley Scott films, and a great plot. Also to anyone that enjoys films that focus on a single life stranded on an unknown place, struggling to survive with the thought that NASA and the American people will do whatever it takes to attempt to save him, no matter the cost, no matter the obstacle, because essentially, all lives matter.