Sorry, I’ve been away. I was visiting Italy, Venice, to be exact. I’ll try to post some pics later on, it is a very beautiful city. But anyway, I’ve been meaning to post this review for some time already as I saw Matt Damon lost in Mars straight away when it came out in The Netherlands, that’s something like three weeks ago or so. Here it is.
THE MARTIAN (2015)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Drew Goddard & Andy Weir
Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels and bunch of other name-actors
Synopsis (by IMDb): “During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.”
First of all, I had really high hopes towards The Martian as everyone was basically saying it’s very nerdy and entertaining. That’s like The Big Bang Theory which is one of my very favourite series. The Martian is not that good. It’s good, don’t get me wrong but in the end, I think I was just a little bit disappointed. But that happens when you have too high hopes.
Secondly, I’m not a fan of Ridley Scott or Matt Damon in general. I love Gladiator and Good Will Hunting but there are always exceptions, right? I think Blade Runner is way too over-appreciated and so is Alien (although it looks very good, both of them do, to be honest, but they are way too empty emotionally, I guess, for my liking). But here, they are both on top of their games. Scott hasn’t been this good since Gladiator and Damon is for once highly likeable. Usually I find him quite annoying but not this time. He is perfectly cast. He’s funny, approachable and it feels real, at least to me, as it is very easy for me as an optimistic or even sometimes idealistic to relate to his character. I haven’t read the book but others are saying that they love the character of Mark Watney and it seems that Damon does justice to him.
The Martian looks amazing. For sure it has to get Oscar nominations for cinematography, effects and set design, I assume. Mars just has to look like that. Very red. And sandy. I also enjoyed music but it’s mainly because of use of familiar, great pop songs. All other actors are good too. Nothing spectacular but then again, their screentime is minimal compared to Damon. Daniels gets most of the scenes outside of Mars and to me Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong have the most memorable roles. Watney’s crew including names like Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Michael Peña and The Winter Soldier is quite under used but then again, it’s not their story, it’s Watney’s.
The best thing in The Martian is that it’s cool. With all the nerdy stuff. It gets you excited about science and that just is the wow-factor in the film. Plus it’s funny and emotional enough. And the most of the time it feels real, that it could happen. Unfortunately it falters towards the end which is sad but all in all, very good film that is entertaining to watch but in the end it’s it also easy to forget.
Rating: ****+ (out of 5)