Release Date : Oct 02,2015
The Martian (aka) Martian review

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Production: Aditya Sood, Mark Huffam, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon
Direction: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Drew Goddard
Story: Andy Weir
Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
Background score: Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography: Dariusz Wolski

There is no shortage of outer space action adventures from Hollywood these days, whether it be Oscar-winning films like Gravity or Interstellar, or even Marvel universe superhero movies like Guardians of the Galaxy. It seems as though there is at least one big budget film of the genre to be expected each year. But, unlike many others in the category of science fiction adventures, The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott, stands out for its fantastic balance of gripping emotional drama and lighthearted fun.

Based on the popular book by Andy Weir, The Martian is about spunky astronaut Mark Watney, who is presumed dead and mistakenly left behind on Mars by his mission team. In the hopes that he will return to earth he is determined to survive the years on his own on the inhospitable planet, until a rescue mission can reach him. Using his botanist background and an overwhelming amount of positive determination Watney learns to harvest his own food supply and focuses on getting in contact with NASA against seemingly all odds.

The Martian is totally engulfing and entertaining. A far cry from recent space-disaster movies from Hollywood this film plays more as a funny and compelling action adventure rather than a deep, science fiction drama. Given its exploration of personal strength of spirit and humanity’s inherent instincts to help rescue those who have been ‘left behind’, no matter how far the distance (ex. 140 million miles), the film is certainly emotional at times, but it does not weigh down viewers with grief, nor does it require deep personal reflection. The film, much like the book, manages to make light of a terrifying fictional situation of abandonment on Mars with a lead character that is never ready to give up, and who is determined to pass his alone time on a foreign planet with productivity and humour. 

There is no shortage of mega Hollywood talent in the film. Matt Damon gives a sparkling performance as the unbreakable Watney. He is smug and lovable playing a character that is a great twist on the otherwise serious and bleak ‘space warriors’ of recent films. Other astronauts played by award winners such as Jessica Chastain and Kate Mara also give strong and memorable performances. But, aside from Damon, the most captivating actors are most likely Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who play NASA’s leading voices, distraught and usually in disagreement over how to rescue Watney and save the future of space travel all at once. 

77-year-old director Ridley Scott is no stranger to outer space action adventures. The creator of such science fiction films as Bladerunner and Prometheus, as well as many other big budget films of various genres, he has created another visually stunning 3D extravaganza that immerses the audience within the perils of the deep unknown. The visual effects are outstanding, and the depiction of Mars’ beautiful red, sandy landscapes are stunning on the big screen. Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski and editing by Pietro Scalia deserves a special mention. 

Overall, The Martian is one of the most enjoyable films of this year. It is hands down another great movie in the science fiction adventure genre, with solid performances and fantastic special effects. But unlike its counterparts, this one keeps you laughing, cheering and hooked on in hope for Watney’s rescue throughout.

Verdict: Be sure to catch this captivating and entertaining space adventure on the big screen in 3D!
( 3.5 / 5.0 )