Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about The Martian. This is another film that’s been on my 2015 anticipated list, even when there was no footage, I had hope for the film considering that it had an interesting premise, Ridley Scott was directing and it featured Matt Damon. And after the trailers and early positive word of mouth I was excited to see this. So after seeing an early screening at Cineworld yesterday I’m ready to pass judgement!
The story can be described as the following:
“When a mission to Mars goes wrong for a group of team of astronauts, they escape, however one of their members, Mark Watney is left behind and presumed dead. With limited resources and a harsh environment to live in, Watney must fight for survival while communicating with NASA, other scientists and his crewmates on a rescue plan.”
I thought the story was really good. This is another film that focuses on survival, human ingenuity, endurance and spirit. I like how there was moral, ethical and logical dilemma’s for not only Mark, but his crewmates and the people at NASA as well, there wasn’t an easy way of doing things and for a lot of the choices that some of these characters made, there’d be sacrifices or negative consequences involved. I also appreciated the realism, the scientific talk and unpredictable nature of space, the Mars environment and spacecraft equipment. The film was also a lot funnier than I expected and I think it really helped ease the loneliness and dread. While this isn’t a brilliant or unique adventure, it is a solid and well-made film from director Ridley Scott, there is a sense of confidence and intelligence with Scott’s direction and I liked that aspect a lot.
The cast did such great work with their performances, but the main star is Matt Damon as Mark Watney. This is a character who is smart and courageous, but also has to deal with the fact that death is constantly present and could take him at any moment. Damon is a really great actor and I think a lot of people forget that, but here is allowed to be dramatic, charming, funny, frustrated and so much more, and a lot of the time he has to act alone, yet pretend like there is someone is watching and he pulls that off fairly well.
As for the people down on Earth I really liked Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, he was an interesting character because he is a good person, but he also has to think of things from a business perspective and his decisions puts him at odds with his other staff members. Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose did pretty well and I think I think I liked her performance a lot mainly because it was the first time I’ve seen her in a serious role. Chiwetel Ejiofor as usual turns in a great performance Vincent Kapoor and Sean Bean was good as Mitch Henderson too. Mackenzie Davis was cute and good in her role as Mindy Park, Benedict Wong was quite good as Bruce Ng and Donald Glover’s appearance as Rich Purnell was strange, humourous and entertaining for sure. As for the space-based characters, Jessica Chastain did well with her material as Melissa Lewis, she’s the most developed and important of the crew and has a lot of important decisions to make too. Michael Peña as Rick Martinez was also good, he had some humourous moments and good banter with Mark. Kate Mara was also good as Beth Johanssen, I also liked my man Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck and Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel was good but a little forgettable. Together these characters had good chemistry and felt like a good team of individuals who cared about their mission but also for each other and Mark.
When it comes to the presentation it was really good. Visually this was a great experience. Spaced-based sci-fi films have been getting better with their special effects over the last few years with Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity showing more and more impressive their art direction, realism and level of detail, and this film is no different. The Martian has wonderful cinematography, editing and sound design too. I was just stunned by the scenery of Mars, all the shots on the planet were gorgeous and the scenes in space were also very beautiful with great lighting and clarity. The film score by Harry Gregson-Williams was also quite good, William’s soundtracks tend to be a little hit and miss for me, but here he did a good job creating music that really amplified the action on-screen and it had many great moments elevating the emotional scenes.
In conclusion The Martian is a return to form for Ridley Scott, offering up a thrilling and dramatic story, great performances and brilliant production value. While I wouldn’t say it blew me away, it is definitely on the higher end of films I’ve seen post-summer season and in 2015 in general.
So what did you think of The Martian? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀