WARNING: If you haven’t read or seen The Martian, seriously, stop reading until you do because there are SPOILERS. You were warned.
As I assume most of you readers have gotten around to seeing The Martian and/or read the book, this will be a fairly point-by-point review of my thoughts on the movie. So fair warning.
–So Matt Damon was one of the few actors I could imagine as Mark Watney, and almost unsurprisingly, does a great job handling the gallows humor of the character and the moments where that upbeat problem solving attitude cracks. In a movie full of a lot of good actors, this one cements the movie well.
–The self-surgery scene. Nasty stuff.
–“So obviously, I blew myself up.”
–The good thing about Ridley Scott directing a movie is that its guaranteed to have some amazing visuals, and the visuals of a desolate Mars are stunning on a big screen (especially when you have Watney wandering through it in wide shots that make him the only thing moving around them).
–“No, I won’t ‘turn it around’. I won’t.”
–I have to say, for all the 70’s music dropped in, I’m amazed at one selection: you have David Bowie’s “Starman” over “Life on Mars”?
–The downside of having so many noticeable actors in this movie is they feel underutilized at points. What does Kristen Wiig do in this besides stand around and offer advice?
–That meeting scene with Sean Bean? What nerd didn’t chuckle when hearing what the project was called?
–Here’s the thing: love Donald Glover, but that eccentric character he plays needed to be turned down a bit.
–The script can’t explain all of the steps to how Watney jury-rigs all the stuff he needs like the book, but it does enough to make you understand the basics of what would be needed.
–So now I have an idea of how to grow potatoes using dirt and feces, which I don’t think I’ll ever need to do, but you never know.
–The way Watney’s responses to staying calm when he got upset about hearing his crew had been kept out of the dark for so long played on Mission Control’s face was a great laugh.
–Did Watney bleep out his own text replies, because if not, weird.
–Can I just be content Kate Mara was in a movie in the last few months that wasn’t a horrible piece of crap like Fantastic Four?
–“You think he meant ‘are you kidding me?’ or ‘are you kidding me?'”
–A China subplot that doesn’t feel needless like the last Transformers movie? Who’da thunk it?
–You always got some explaining to do when agreeing to stay in space for another year and a half.
–Would that many people be circled around places like Times Square just for this rescue mission? I do have a hard time believing that.
–Mark Watney: Space Pirate.
–Emaciated Watney was such a surprise, but obvious when realizing what he had to live on.
–I’m glad someone pointed out how going into space at 12Gs in the equivalent of a open module might make you pass out.
–“On the plus side, I’ll get to fly around like Iron Man!”
–Now why the captain has to specifically go after Watney in the rescue operation is a stretch, but hey, it’s not a complaint either. Am I just easy on redheads? Probably.
–Look, that end credits montage was a bit cheesy, but at least it felt earned by the time the movie was over.
So, I actually really enjoyed the movie as much as I did the book. It was the right amount of fun and drama that did involve me and the almost packed theater I was in (and funny in a way most so-called comedies this year haven’t been). I missed having a positive view of space travel in movies, and The Martian filled that hole nicely. And if it influences a new generation of people to go out into the stars and benefit mankind, that’s not a bad thing.
But what about you? Your thoughts on the either the book or the movie, or both? Comment below…