The Martian

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Directed by: Ridley Scott

Based on the Novel By: Andy Weir

Grade: A

 I’ll admit I have been waiting for this one for a while. It’s the first of a crop of exciting movies this fall and winter and based on a novel that I absolutely loved.

 So did it live up to my expectations?

 It did indeed.

 For anyone who doesn’t know Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is a botanist who accidentally gets left behind on Mars when his team thinks he’s dead. After that it’s a fight for survival for him and, once they know he’s alive, NASA. NASA is left with a ton of not very good or helpful options as time dwindles and things go wrong.

 One of the thing I most loved about this book that the movie (thank Goodness) captures is Watney’s spirit. He’s a character who is funny, extremely smart, optimistic, hopeful and forgiving. Yes, he’s human. There are times when he starts to break and Damon, whom I don’t really ever like, does a great job playing him. He was perfectly cast amongst a great cast.

 Jessica Chastain and Michael Pena were standouts among the crew and everyone on the ground did a good job although all the money stuff was with Damon. The movie was a lot of fun and like Watney, at times, very funny. I particularly loved the Lord of the Rings reference complete with Sean Bean in the room.

 The soundtrack was a lot of fun. Tons of disco but they work it into the movie so it never felt strange or out of place and the shots of Mars… I know, I know, it’s not Mars. But they were beautiful. I felt this pull when Mark was talking about it sometime or simply looking around as though you could understand him being struck and amazed by it even though he was struggling to survive it. Good job Damon and movie!

 It stays pretty close to the book. I could think of some stuff that was cut out but it wasn’t missed. My one thing is that I wished they had ended it a little earlier than they did but in the end that really didn’t matter. We saw the film in 3D and I thought it was so well done that I forget that I was watching 3D (which could be a good or bad thing depending on your taste) but if you’re at all interested in this I’d definitely recommend checking it out in the theatre.

 Recommend: Yes. I enjoyed the movie just as much as I had hoped. It’s going with Mad Max as one of the best of the year. Plus as a fan of the book I was very pleased with the adaptation.

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