So this weekend we had the release of The Martian starring Matt Damon (Green Zone, Elysium, The Bourne Supremacy) straight off the pages from one of today’s best selling books by author Andy Weir.
In this thrilling space adventure, Matt plays Mark Watney a botanist on a routine mission on Mars along with his crew mates commander Melissa Lewis, Beth Johanssen, Chris Beck, Alex Vogal and Rick Martinez. In that order the crew is cast as Jessica Chastain (The Help, Mama, The Tree of Life), Kate Mara (Fantastic Four *2015, Fireflies, Transcendence), Sebastian Stan (Gone, Hot Tub Time Machine, The Apparition), Aksel Hennie (Cold Lunch, Uno, Age of Heroes) and Michael Pena (Fury, Cesar Chavez, Everything Must Go). When a sudden storm jeopardizes the mission, NASA orders them to cut the trip short and make an emergency take off. During the evacuation a freak accident cuts Mark off from the rest of the team and, beleiving him to be dead, they blast off from the red planet en route back home to Earth. However, surprise, surprise Mark ends up surviving the freak accident by an even more freakish amount of good luck, however he finds himself completely and utterly deserted on a planet that’s basically just a giant dust ball.
Mark gives us the scoop upfront: He has enough food and water to last him about 200 days, his only connection to Earth left with his crew, and there won’t be another mission to Mars for another 4 years. So yeah he’s pretty much screwed. But fear not! Because Mark is willing to live by ‘Science-ing the sh**’ out of his situation! As a botanist he plans to grow food on a planet where pretty much nothing grows! Not to mention our clever astronaut has a trick or two up his sleeve to get in touch with NASA and let them know he needs an escape plan home like no tomorrow!
I really, really want to say: stay away from the book. When Mark says he’s science-ing things that’s just what the heck he’s doing. Page after page was complicated formual on how he was going to survive and if I’d ever paid attention in my science class that might have been interesting to me. But for the most part I was bored and confused. Although the book is a best seller and all my friends love it so maybe I really just should have stayed awake in science, I don’t know, what I do know is I appreciated the movie more so than the book. And director Ridley Scott stayed true to the story which I thought was awesome! It was a great job seeing the boring science talk take on a thrilling life on screen. My favorite parts, both in the book and on film is the happenings at NASA while they try and figure out how to get Mark back home. The character’s Teddy Sanders and Vincent Kapoor played by Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber, RV, Wild Things) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Salt, 12 Years a Slave, Love Actually) were played fantastically. I mean I loved these characters in the book, but I loved them even more so in the movie! Suffice to say this film did something that is very rare to see: It came out better than the book. Sorry Mr. Weir.
Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.
Rotten Tomatoes has this Sci-fi thriller at a 93%! How awesome is that?
Now I only have one hang up with the film, which is at the end where it suddenly became a little too unbelievable for my taste. It was the only part of the movie that Ridley Scott did differently than the book. I don’t want to go into much detail just know it has something to do with Iron Man…and…yeah. But other than that, I praise this movie as a must see! An absolute thrill ride from start to finish! And again, if possible skip the book and go straight to the movie. And again, sorry Mr. Weir…