The Martian – Should I Watch It?

Intro to… The Martian
Space MacGyver is left for dead on Mars and must find a way to survive with only his knife, a roll of duck tape, and about a billion dollar worth of NASA equipment.

The Plot
The crew of Ares III, NASA’s third manned mission to Mars, are in quite the predicament when a vicious sandstorm suddenly strikes. It gets so bad that commander Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) has no choice but to abort the mission. But it turns out to be too little too late for Mark Watney (Matt Damon). He gets hit by debris and flies off to who knows where. Believing Mark is dead, Melissa has no choice but to evacuate without him.

Mark, however, survives and is now stuck on Mars. His prospects are bleak to say the least. He knows that it would take NASA several years to reach him and he only has limited resources. It seems pretty darn hopeless. But Mark is not about to give up. He uses everything he ever learned about science and botany, and starts forming a plan to survive this unforgiving and lifeless planet.

Should I Watch It?
Since The Martian is a movie that is about space travel and heavily incorporates science in its story many people are likely to compare this film to that other movie that was about space travel and heavily incorporated science in its story: Interstellar. A closer look, however, reveals that these movies are not like each other at all.

The Martian is basically a “How to survive on Mars” handbook. It is not a big space exploration adventure. If I would compare it to anything, it would be Robinson Crusoe. Replace Mars with Island and they become very similar. They are both about men that must use their brains to survive being stranded.

The flow of the movie is relatively slow and the story arcs are pretty identical. Most of the film we have Mark facing some kind of problem or obstacle that he overcomes with the power of science. Since the same plot device is being recycled again and again, you might expect things to get boring. But the phenomenal storytelling keeps you engaged and interested. The science gets explained in a very cookie cutter manner and is often accompanied by an intelligent and hilarious quip.

In normal movies the protagonist gets enriched by the characters he interacts with, but since Mark is all alone he only has one person to talk to: you. This gives the movie a very personal delivery. To me this meant that I quickly became invested in the story, and it kept my attention until the credits rolled down.

Matt Damon has a fair amount of movies on his name and has played some wonderfully interesting characters, but this is without a doubt his best performance yet. He is funny, convincing, and incredibly likeable. The movie primarily focuses on him, so seeing him acting on his absolute best is true treat.

By now I am pretty sure that you have figured out that I really enjoyed this movie. I liked the science, the narrative, and the acting. Though not a perfect movie, it comes pretty darn close.

Yes, watch it.

Hi guys, I hope you enjoyed reading this review. If you have any comments or suggestions on what I should watch next let me know in the comment section below.

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  1. Top 11: Best Movies Of 2015 | The Silver Screen Savant - December 27, 2015

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