The Martian is about a man, Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who finds himself stranded on Mars after his team was forced to leave him behind after a fierce storm and the people from NASA who make effort to rescue the astronaut from hostility. We follow Watney as he leaves video diaries about his attempts to survive a vast amount of time on a hostile planet with no way of contacting NASA. Originally a book written by Andy Weir (which you can find here The Martian) it was turned in to a film by Ridley Scott (Director) and Drew Goddard (Screenwriter).
There is one notable performance in this film and that is, of course, Matt Damon’s, he provided a faultless performance from what he was given to work with. Damon certainly shines in this film making us feel strongly for the character and wishing him the best. Many of the other performances were forgettable due to unnecessary characters or weak dialogue including “out of place” humour.
If this had been a film showing the main characters perspective only it would have been a lot more entertaining, not only was Mark Watney the only well written character, but he was also the one with an interesting story. A lot of the scenes on earth felt very “Hollywood” as if they were rushed to bulk up the film and add more humour or “entertainment” A.K.A. Ridley Scott didn’t have the guts to show only perspective of an incredible situation. A good example of this is Donald Glover’s character who, although making a difference, flaunts a comical manner in his presentation of a serious solution.
Scenes on Mars were fantastic, In fact there should have been a lot more of them. This really could have been a masterpiece, but unfortunately it just comes across as a churned out Hollywood film. The same goes for the cinematography as well, there were a lot of really fantastic shots in the Mars scenes, but something felt a little off in the earth scenes.
One of the biggest annoyances about The Martian is the fact that Mark Watney somehow stays relatively sane despite being left in an isolated scenario, realistically that would have driven anyone to be mentally ill in some shape or form, but he stays comical and full of personality despite having absolutely no human contact for a significant amount of time. Once again, this made the film feel like a churned out Hollywood flick.
At one point Watney is reflecting on his time on Mars and points out that he is the first man to be completely alone on an entire planet, the first man to step in certain places on Mars, the first man to colonize Mars, this could have been explored a lot more and open the plot up to bigger things which is why it comes across as disappointing when it becomes about NASA. The great thing about Mars is that the audience has never been, Scott should have played around with that a lot more.
To conclude, this is an entertaining film in the sense that it has the typical Hollywood feel to it and a lot of unnecessary comical characters/moment, but it could (and should) have been a lot more.
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