BY LEAH MARROW
With Ridley Scott sitting in the director’s chair, how could moviegoers expect anything less than incredible? From the director who brought the world the classic sci-fi thriller Alien (1979), now comes The Martian.
Scott is a genius, especially when it comes to science fiction movies. With the help of screenwriter Drew Goddard, he brought Andy Weir’s 385-paged, New York Times bestselling novel to life on the big screen in a way that no one else would have been able to.
The Martian follows the story of astronaut and botanist, Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon). Watney and his fellow crew members are in the midst of finishing a month-long scientific expedition on Mars.
A violent sandstorm (that calls for an emergency evacuation) separates Watney from the rest of the crew, who assume he perished in the storm.
When Watney wakes up, he is covered in sand, injured, almost out of air and completely alone. After scarcely making it back to the now abandoned living quarters, he realizes that the radio antenna was demolished during the storm. Watney knows this means that there will be no communication between him and NASA or the crew, who are on their way back to Earth.
Watney is forced to rely solely on his own knowledge, ingenuity and sense of humour to survive.
While listening to an all disco playlist (the only music left behind by his estranged crew members) and refusing to accept the fate of dying on Mars, he sets to work. Using the power of science, a video diary and a little too much hydrogen, Watney creates a how-to guide on how to survive in hostile lands.
Damon shines in the role of Watney. For most of the film, Damon is alone. Having no one to bounce lines off of or draw energy from, he gives a riveting performance worthy of an Oscar.
The deserts of Jordan, where the film was shot, act as a visually spectacular backdrop and perfect representation of what Mars might look like close-up.
This two and a half hour- long film is something that no one should miss out on. Seeing the movie in 3D, though a few dollars more, adds an extra dimension and sense of realism that one might not get while watching it in the standard form.
I give this movie five out of five stars.