The Martian – Movie Review

Matt Damon plays a stranded astronaut in The Martian
Matt Damon plays a stranded astronaut in The Martian



Sci-Fi, Adventure, Drama
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña
Released by: 20th Century Fox
Run Time: 2h 24 min
Year: 2015

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By Mar Yvette

What Tom Hanks is to “Cast Away,” Matt Damon is to “The Martian.” Within the first 30 minutes of the movie, the similarities are hard to miss: Both men are left for dead (or rather, assumed dead) after a terrible accident. Both men are isolated for an extreme length of time. Both men must face, accept and then defy their own mortality to evolve into stronger versions of themselves. And both films feature first-rate actors who will be remembered in these roles for years to come.

When Damon’s character, astronaut Mark Watney, is left behind by his crew who believe he died during an accident on Mars, he has to figure out how to survive 140 million miles from home … and how to let the world know he is alive. Fortunately, Watney happens to be a genius botanist, so he eventually figures out how to grow his own food (in this case, potatoes) by using … human waste! This lowly source of survival serves as one of the funnier moments in the movie and it’s just one example of how humor plays a big role throughout “The Martian.”

While the film’s premise is decidedly tense, it’s the skillful combination of a well-paced script, talented cast, out-of-this-world special effects and lighter moments that make “The Martian” so compelling and entertaining. Even the 70s-era, disco-heavy soundtrack (the moment Bowie’s “Starman” kicks in is perfection) serves as a character in itself, breathing life  not only to Damon’s character in times of distress, but also for those of us watching the drama unfold. “The Martian” casts you away into the farthest reaches of space while simultaneously keeping you close to home to better understand what it means to be human.

Watch the trailer and get tickets at “The Martian” official website

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