The Martian: Review

With the announcement of the Golden Globes nominees we’ve decided to watch and review all of the honoured movies to celebrate the best that Hollywood has to offer as well as decide our picks in time for the events. Next up is The Martian.

With Interstellar last year, and Gravity the year before that i’m starting to feel like I have a chance of making it stranded in space. Regardless, I’ve avoiding watching this film thus far due to an intergalactic fatigue.

Adapted from the debut novel of Andy Weir, Drew Goddard (writer of Cabin In The Woods, and Cloverfield) penned the screenplay. Simon Kinberg (X-Men prequels, and Chappie) produced, and the magnanimous Ridley Scott directed. Before anything was even filmed, the movie was already shaping up to be great.

Matt Damon donned the spacesuit to provide us with our heroic lead, and many recognisable faces filled the screen back on Earth as NASA employees namely: Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donal Glover, Sean Bean, and Lee Daniels. As well as his platoon on a separate ship: Jessica Chastain, Sebastian Stan, and Kate Mara.

In the year 2035, a crew are halfway through their Mars expedition when a severe dust storm hits and astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is struck off during the accident separating him from his troop. With his suit indicating he did not survive the blast, the remaining crew evacuate the planet unintentionally leaving the astronaut stranded.

What followed was an epic story of one mans struggle to not only survive but to return home also. Beautifully shot, relative realism and emotionally touching the movies is quite the drama, but marketed to the globes as a music/comedy which is questionable. There were humorous moments to be sure, few and far between but nothing close to comedic.

The soundtrack is a highlight of the movie, 80’s dance tunes happens to be the only CD left on board and so disjointed, yet perfect songs such as Elton John’s rocket man blare in the most inappropriate of places adding a hilarious, and cool layer to the movie.

The writing is a great point of the film. Though the workers use over-complicated language, Watney is always on hand to break it down to layman’s terms for us the viewer through his video logs.

Unfortunately, the pacing seemed to be a little off. Disaster moments came throughout, with terrible collisions, the harsh conditions of living in space, and the pitfalls of improvising your own rocket, there was drama to be sure, yet most of the film was Watney doing whatever.

What was interesting was the role of the NASA workers, media and fellow astronauts in the flick. Usually a survival story focuses on the central character, which I was expecting, but it was refreshing to see people weighing up the options as to what to tell the public and which plan to put into action.

Damon did very well as the leading role, he was believable, touching and funny, there was nothing we could have nitpicked on but we didn’t feel as though he fully gave everything he had for the role.

Our Verdict: Could Matt Damon walk away with a Globe? It is honestly not that unlikely this year, the names are all relatively as big as one another so it’s quite an even race.

Could the movie win best Comedy/musical? Again, it opens it’s chances up by sliding into this easier category but on principal we refuse. Let an actual comedy like Spy take the award.

Could the movie win best director? Ridley Scott is a directing legend, but plain and simple the movie was not as beautiful as Gravity just a few years before so in comparison, no. Movies shot in space are bound to gain extra credit for direction but George Miller and Todd Hayes did incredible work for Mad Max and Carol this year.

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