While Ridley Scott isn’t as great at versatility as Steven Spielberg, he’s definitely had his shot and is among the list of great directors who’ve directed several different types of films. Most of his hits and prominent films though have been more intense and darker in tone, flicks like Blade Runner, Gladiator, or Alien. The Martian, on the other end, is his best lighthearted or more relaxed film.
Note that It’s not a comedy film, but it’s definitely quite more lighthearted than the movies he’s popular for. The credit fairly goes to the source material too, Andy Weir’s book is definitely full of subtle, well-timed humor, and this adaptation makes the best out of it. On top of that, it’s also easily one of the most memorable space science-fiction films in recent times.
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The Movie Review
One of the best things about The Martian is the premise itself, which doesn’t take itself too intensely even though the situation itself is rather serious. The film’s events are based in the year 2035, a mission on Mars is what the crew of Ares III is caught up with, but they’re interrupted by a massive dust storm, of which the survivors take off for their orbiting vessel, the Hermes. But not all of them have safely departed from Mars.
Astronaut Mark Watney is caught by debris and is assumed dead. Watney wakes up all alone on Mars, miraculously having survived, but injured and low on oxygen. To his luck, Watney is a Botanist and begins experimenting with ways to grow food on Mars.
He’s not able to directly communicate with Earth, he begins to record a video diary of all the progress he makes. And upon the earliest clues of his survival towards his past crewmates, the Ares III commander Melissa Lewis takes the responsibility of bringing Watney back on herself and devotes a great bunch of the staff to it.
Though it may at times become slow and slightly seem like a blockbuster, almost every scene of Mark all alone on Mars is interesting, and Matt Damon is about the perfect choice for the role.
The communication between him and Earth is restored after the sets on a mission to retrieve the Pathfinder, which provides a bonus adventure arc to the film. While the film itself may not be the most original thing, such solo adventures on a different are definitely consisting of a chunk of originality.
Attempts are made to send Mark some food, but they all fail. And with no hope for his survival’s expansion, the crew must take on a rescue mission under Commander Lewis. An intense final act takes place, which features almost as much survival suspense as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar did. Jessica Chastain as Lewis is a show-stealer, just as she was in her Interstellar role. Drew Goddard’s adaptation of the book by Andy Weir definitely makes the best out of its actors.
The film features clever direction from Scott, the adaptation is relatively quite faithful to the source material. Drew Goddard’s adaptation of the already compelling novel is equally entertaining and worthy of appreciation.
There’s not a single major scene that loses track with you due to how cleverly the dialogue is written. On top of that, the film benefits from likable technical execution. Both Dariusz Wolski’s cinematography and Harry Gregson-Williams’ original score are extremely compatible with the film and very good on their own too.
The Martian is one of the most likable space movies in recent times, most importantly due to its likable characters, subtle writing, a show of versatility by Ridley Scott, Matt Damon’s performance, and the right amount of technical prowess. It’s not as extraordinary as something like Interstellar, but it’s still a film with a lot of things to love.