The Martian Review


In the Mix
Director - Ridley Scott, Writers - Drew Goddard (screenplay) Andy Weir (Novel) 
Cast - Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kirsten Wig, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor

The Skinny in 10 words
"Matt Damon gets lost in space... again! Rescue mission anyone?"

The Quote
"I'm going to have to science the sh1t out of this"

The Beef
You have to go back some 8 years to find the last time that director Ridley Scott had a good film out in Denzel Washington's American Gangster in 2007. In those 8 years you and I have had the misfortune of seeing Body of Lies (CIA yawn), Robin Hood (made me miss Kevin Costner's Yank accent), Prometheus (WTF was that about), The Counsellor (star studded snoozefest) and Exodus: Gods & Kings (Box office tank of biblical proportions). 

So it was with welcome relief that the legendary director sees an awesome return to form with a killer leading man in Matt Damon and a star studded cast around him to make this space rescue film one that delivers on every level. 

Firstly, Matt Damon, is surprisingly funny in this! He's always been likeable and ever since Good Will Hunting we knew he could act but this movie sees him spend the majority of its duration on an entire planet alone or talking to a computer diary (his Wilson to the Cast Away analogy). 

A NASA research mission on Mars collecting data goes wrong meaning the crew must evacuate the planet believing Matt Damon's character to be dead. 

But wait, he isn't dead!

Now he must not only work out how to survive on a planet by himself in the 4 years it will take for another shuttle to come back to get him but also how to let NASA know that he is in fact alive. In Mark Watney's (Damon) own words "I'm going to have to science the shit out of this", and he does with both funny and touching moments from both Mars and Earth's storylines. 

Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kristen Wig play the NASA hierarchy back on Earth while Jessica Chastain plays the astronaut commander that left him there. Plus old Boromir himself, Sean Bean, has a small but significant role and having his acting calibre is always a good idea in any movie! 

Popcorn or Pie
Matt Damon is proving that he is only getting better with age and Ridley Scott breaks his curse of Big Budget+Big Stars=Big Flop formula with a winning adaptation of Andy Weir's novel. Go see this at the cinema or at home on DVD. It will entertain and you will enjoy. A sci-fi movie with a difference.

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