Skip to main content

The Martian

The Martian was one of my favorite books read last year. It’s funny; it’s adventurous and would definitely make a great film. Despite the influx of space-related flicks as of late, it was a good piece to adapt. I had a bit of doubt about it, particularly due to Matt Damon being casted as the lead character, and that his character might be reminiscent of his earlier astronaut character in 2014’s Interstellar. Nonetheless, the movie didn’t disappoint.

Due to an accident caused by a storm, Mark Watney was left in Mars, presumed dead. By a miracle, he survived the storm and has to find a way to survive on the planet just enough for the next Ares Mission to arrive. Fortunately for him, NASA discovers that he’s alive, making it their mission to keep him so. 

The book was filled with intense scenes, some which did not make it in the film or was rewritten around to make it less dramatic. It didn’t focus on making things somber, but was really filmed as an adventure flick. It was entertaining but having read the source, the film seems like a watered down version of it. Still, I loved the feeling of adventure it has. 

Matt Damon portrayed Watney fairly. I didn’t imagine him in the role, but he was able to keep things comedic. I was expecting this to be a diverse cast, with more roles for people of color, or for the cast to resemble their novel counterparts. While Jessica Chastain was good here, I didn’t imagine her in the role. The same goes for Sean Bean. Since the screenplay did a lot of rewriting, I wished they could have written Kristen Wiig’s character out. She seemed so superfluous; the plot would have still unfolded the same way if she weren’t there. 

The film was aesthetically pleasing. It added much to the tone Ridley Scott was trying to convey. It wasn’t styled over the top, and didn’t adapt much of the shooting manner that both Gravity and Interstellar did. It showed different perspectives, and though cutting into three separate settings can make things confusing, it works here. I do wish they had written more of the disaster scenes in; I was hoping for one of the events to play onscreen but they had written around it. There was so much detail left out, but it didn’t derail from the final product. 

This was a good ensemble film. Damon holds well on his own but none of the actors particularly stood out. The sense of adventure was present and hit the right marks when it comes to making the film entertaining without resulting to ‘déjà vu’-like elements. 


Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
Director: Ridley Scott
Year: 2015

Comments

  1. I thought near the end the movie was kinda all over the place and Scott couldn't decide whether he wants to keep it light or turn it into drama, but overall it was entertaining and well done movie. Glad you liked it too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of dramatic stuff happens towards the end of the book and I was hoping that it would play out in the film because I thought the scene was intense. Still, I like the direction Scott Ridley took and this was a great film.

      Delete
  2. I loved this one. I thought Damon made a great Watney, though I wish they would've left more of his problems in the film. They almost made his time on Mars seem "easy" compared to the missteps he had in the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot more does happen in the book, but it would change the tone of the film if more of it was written in.

      Delete
  3. Nice review! I haven't read the book yet, but I look forward to it. Great comparison of this to Interstellar and Gravity. The Martian is a good in-between for something 'heavier' and a space survival story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do recommend reading the book. While the book also has comic tones, there's more survival type events compared to the movie.

      Delete
  4. Good review! At first I wasn't even interested in this movie because I was so tired of Matt Damon. Then I read the book and adored it, and now I think he was a great choice for Watney. I wish they'd included more of the book too though. I missed the sandstorm near the end. And I agree, Kristen Wiig's character was not necessary. They could have cut her, and given more time to better characters. Still, I love this movie. The book was better, but watching the movie reminds me of the book, so I'm very fond of it. :D

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment