Runtime: 141 minutes
Cast: Matt Demon (Mark Watney)
Jeff Daniels (Teddy Sanders)
Sean Bean (Mitch Henderson)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Vincent Kapoor)
Based on The Martian by Andy Weir
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. (IMDb.com)
Last year I read the book that this movie is based on and loved it. It was one of my top 5 favorite books of 2014 and I told basically everyone I know about it. So when I heard that there will be a movie I was both super excited and scared. Most of the time book to movie adaptations, with the exception of very few, are not quite good, or at least not as good as fans of the books would wish them to be. But, The Martian was amazing.
Ever since I saw the first trailer for it, which I've also reviewed and teared up while watching, my expectations shot sky high which only made me more nervous when I went to see it with my friends yesterday (thanks Germany for making me wait a week). But, as previously mentioned, I was not disappointed and my expectations were met, a huge relief really, because I wouldn't have forgiven Hollywood and Ridley Scott if he would have messed this up.
I'm having a hard time with figuring out how to transfer my thoughts and emotions about this movie onto a review that would make sense so maybe let's start at the beginning of the movie.
We start off right before the incident that leads to Mark being left behind on Mars since his crew thinks he is dead, though he obviously isn't. I enjoyed the fact that there wasn't some long made up stuff before that but that we were thrown right into the story just when everything got messy, though we started off with a joke about Mark having found dirt on Mars which I thought was actually funny.
I know from articles and YouTube videos that the sandstorm is more fiction then non-fiction, but the author needed a reason for him to be left behind so that's okay, considering how scientifically accurate everything else that happens in the movie is. That brings me to my next point, the fact that this isn't one of those action filled space stories but one filled with actual survival, science and jokes. I liked the fact that the movie, and book, showed just how hard it would be to save an astronaut due to the cost and distance between the Earth and Mars. They didn't just mud that over and make it unrealistic and easy, but in a way that felt realistic which I always appreciate. Everything had a scientific base, though the movie science was a little easier to understand then some of it in the book.
Next up, as someone who first read the book with no real knowledge how all things Mars missions look like, I definitely appreciated the fact that I now know how the rover really looks like or the HAB in which Mark lives during his Mars time. While reading I had no actual clue how these things look like and I can tell you that my imagination was very far of from how everything actually looks like.
As for the actors, especially Matt Damon, I really liked all of their performances, even though Sean Bean did not die in this movie. Can you believe it? I've never been much of a fan of Matt Damon so when I first heard that he would play Mark Watney I wasn't sure if I liked that casting choice. But now that I saw the movie and his performance I definitely changed my mind. He played Mark amazingly and believably. Surprisingly enough he fit the role really well which is always a plus point.
I really like Mark's character and the fact that he never gave up, never just sulked around and contemplated how high the chance is of him dying. Every day he got up and kept himself busy to stay alive a while longer, to make his chances of surviving a little bigger. I cannot even imagine how hard that would be in reality and how lonely he felt but I guess in his situation you would try to not think about it since that could just ruin your motivation and you could run into just giving up which wouldn't really help you.
We didn't get to see the rest of his crew that much throughout the movie but what we did get to see of them was also really good. I liked how mixed the cast of characters was and how well the actors fit their roles. That also goes for the NASA members. Usually when movies involve nerds or super intelligent people we only get to see them portrayed in a very stereotypical way but not in this movie. There were many different ones around and, as far as I've heard, the fact that they use Lord of the Rings references is also a thing that actually happens so that's awesome.
The scenery shots of 'Mars' were breathtaking. I enjoyed all the wide shots of Mark driving around in his rover that allowed us to see more of the 'planet' and proved even more just how hard it would be for a real astronaut to survive on a planet like that completely on his own.
What I also liked was that many of the jokes from the book made it into the movie, though it's too bad one of my favorite quotes about duct tape didn't. Even the Iron Man joke made it, though in the movie it was a little bit sillier then in the book but that's okay.
All in all I loved The Martian and how true to the book it was. Sure, a couple of things didn't make it into the movie and others were changed a little to make the movie more interesting but that's not big of a surprise. I'm happy with how the movie turned out, with the actor's performances and everything. I definitely want to see the movie again, many times though for that movie tickets are too expensive. I think this might so far be my favorite movie of 2015 so I recommend it to basically everyone. It's not scary, doesn't involve aliens or random jump scares and idiocy. It's a brilliant movie about survival on a planet that is definitely not made for humans as is.
I give The Martian 5 out of 5 Stars.