On Saturday afternoon my husband and I went to see “The Martian”.
Despite the bad press he’s gotten lately in regard to Project Greenlight and a misinterpreted comment about the private lives of actors I still really like Matt Damon. In addition to Matt Damon I think Ridley Scott is an immensely talented filmmaker and there are also many members of the supporting cast that I like a lot.
“The Martian” is both similar and quite different than last year’s “Interstellar” (check out my review of that film: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/interstellar/ ). Both films deal with space travel. Both films are able to do what most Hollywood films can’t, they are able incorporate fantastic special effects into the film without making special effects the star of the film or end up looking like a video game because of the excessive CGI. Both films have two time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain in a supporting role.
And both films have Academy Award winner Matt Damon as an astronaut left behind for dead. However, that is where the similarities end. “Interstellar” was more philosophical and more like a movie about theoretical space travel. It was an art film with a big budget dressed up as a popcorn film. While “The Martian” isn’t really science fiction, it’s more like fiction sent in the not too distant future. “The Martian” is one hundred percent a popcorn film. It’s kind of like “Apollo 13” but with a messed up mission to Mars instead of a failed trip to the moon.
Don’t take the above to mean that there is anything wrong with “The Martian”. It is everything that can and should go right with a big studio film with a top notch cast. I was entertained from start too finish.
There was plenty of drama, just the right amount of humor thrown in and solid performances all around.
Matt Damon (who continues to have an amazing body even at the age of 45) is really good in the lead role.
The film requires him to spend much of the movie on screen by himself. It’s kind of like “Castaway” on Mars. And he does a really good job of filling up the screen without other actors. From Kate Mara to Kristin Wiig to Jessica Chastain and Michael Pena the supporting cast are all very good.
A huge amount of the credit for how good “The Martian” is must go to Ridley Scott. Having made his first big impression with 1979’s “Alien” he is no stranger to science fiction films and he proves himself once again here.
“The Martian” is the perfect summer film that just happened to be released in the fall. If you haven’t seen it yet and you’re looking for an entertaining way to spend two hours and twenty minutes then I highly recommend checking out “The Martian” for yourself.
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