The Martian (2015)


Pros
  • Another high quality sci-fi movie (first was 2013's Gravity, then 2014's Interstellar, and now this)
  • The main reason the movie works is because it talks us through the science happening on screen
  • Could there have been anymore A-list movie stars in this movie?
  • Just knowing the filmmakers hired/consulted with real NASA members makes the movie much more compelling
  • The production design and special effects look fantastic
  • Ridley Scott's best film in over a decade, proving he still has it
  • Sean Bean doesn't die!
  • The Lord of the Rings shout out
  • An all around excellent production (acting, CGI, story, are all on point)
  • Gives three sound perspectives in the movie (NASA, Hermes, and Watney)
  • Out of all the recent sci-fi films, this one might be the most rewatchable

Cons
  • Doesn't dive deep enough into Matt Damon's character's emotional level
  • Why was the Commander the only one allowed to bring music?
  • Rushes through a lot of the story for the sake of covering the amount of material in the movie
  • Mark Watney's situation, for the most part, seems too safe most of the time

Scores: 8/10

The Martian has been one of the most anticipated movies of the year, so did it deliver? It certainly did, not only was the movie intriguing from beginning to end, but it also gave us a different perspective than we were used to for science fiction genre movies. We see the moral complications as well as the psychical complications from having to save a man stranded on Mars. Not only is the movie about surviving on Mars using some serious brain power, but his survival also resides on NASA and their abilities to rescue him. It's this coordination between the two that is the engrossing part of the movie, Mars may be tens of millions miles apart, but the movie makes it seem so much closer. 

That being said, what makes The Martian great is the scientific accuracy that went into the making of the movie. The movie has already been described as one of the most scientifically accurate movies of all time and you can kind of feel it throughout the movie. And being described like that only boosts your reputation for the better. We are basically shown how to survive on Mars and it's unlike anything we have seen before. If anything, it doesn't even seem all that bad, the movie spins his survival in an uplifting and optimistic way. It's this type of tone that is going to make The Martian more appealing to the masses than if it were spun in a darker, less optimistic way.

But if I had to sum up what I didn't like about the movie, it would be that everything was 'too safe'. He solved his problems a bit too fast for them to feel like actual problems. The food, water, oxygen, communications, and heat problems are all (for the most part) solved quite quickly in the movie. I just didn't feel like he was in any real danger for the long term. (But that might just be the point of the movie, the solutions to the problems weren't there real danger, but rather the limited duration of those solutions). Everything was cleaned up too nice and clean, it would have been nice to see him in some actual peril or desperation where he breaks down emotional and rather than physically. But again, that might be the point of the movie (or how the book was), it's sort of like a party out there on Mars for Dr. Watney.

The Martian isn't quite as raw as Moon or flourishing with bigger ideas like Interstellar, instead The Martian is a unique tale of survival where smart thinking is the focal point. Certainly one of the better movies of the year (but not quite the best), but one thing is for certain, The Martian is a definite crowd-pleaser!