Release Date: 10/2/2015
The Martian is a cross between Cast Away (two Oscar nominations) and Apollo 13 (nine Oscar nominations), and probably better than both. If that sounds like high praise, it should; I wouldn’t be surprised to see nine Oscar nominations* for The Martian. It should be an example to Hollywood on how to make a movie. The movie was two-and-a-half hours long, yet didn’t feel like it at all. There were serious moments as well as light-hearted, funny moments. The action built throughout, leading to a highly suspenseful climax. The acting was superb throughout.
That isn’t to say that it was a perfect movie. Everyone in the cast was young and beautiful. This is standard for Hollywood, but this time it was noticeable to the point of distraction for me. I thought the (potential) solution for the rescue was obvious, and I didn’t understand why it took ¾ of the movie for it to be proposed. I thought they glossed over some of the details (e.g. Seven Months Later…). I’m totally fine with skipping the details as The Martian was already nearly two-and-a-half hours. Finally, I was unsure of when this was set. If this was the third trip to Mars, then it would be at least 20 years into the future, yet, the crew listens to disco and watches Happy Days reruns. If that’s the case, these young and beautiful people would be born 30 years after disco and Happy Days were popular. It would be as if I listened to swing music and watched The Lone Ranger – now that I write it it’s totally plausible, but that 20 years was a minimum, much older and we are talking classical music and “what the hell is television?” On the other hand, the disco music was a running joke throughout and actually improved the movie, so even this drawback was a net positive.
The Martian has garnered high praise and it is well deserved. Premise, plot, acting all worked to near perfection. Even my picking of nits above are understandable and mostly justified. You’ll note that I didn’t include any of the plot in my review, I want no spoilers here – go see the movie for yourself. Seriously go see this one. It is definitely worth your time.
WWYT Rating: 9.0
IMDB Rating: 8.4
*I think for sure it will be nominated for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Director (Ridley Scott), Actor (Matt Damon). Plus, I expect a supporting actor nomination or two (Jeff Daniels and Jessica Chastain – she might get female lead or supporting female, I don’t know the rules. Or if anyone else on this star-studded cast were nominated, I would probably nod my head in approval.) Visual Effects, Sound, and Editing are very common for a movie set in space.