Matt Damon is back in space and this time he has to find a way to survive on Mars for as long as it’s going to take to get a rescue mission to him. This movie is a great example of how an engaging story can let the time slip by unnoticed. It is also a great examination of the human spirit and the ingenuity of a person who makes a choice to survive. This is such a great movie, I am taking my son to go see it today. A green light film should have production value, spectacular performances and be engaging. This move has all of that.
The manned mission to Mars is interrupted by a storm and the crew gets the evacuation orders. During the evacuation, Mark Watney (MattDamon) is struck by debris his communication and vitals monitoring systems are destroyed. Believing that he has died the crew go on with the evacuation and start their four month journey back to earth. He wakes up alone, on Mars with limited resources he now has to find a way to survive.
Some standout performances were Jeff Daniels who spectacularly played the Director of NASA. Chiwetel Ejiofor was again unfairly outperforming everyone on screen with him. Sean Bean does not die in this movie and it’s nice to see him finish a film without a death scene. Jessica Chastain shines as the captain of the mars mission. Really the entire cast all had strong performances but these were the ones that I truly enjoyed. There wasn’t a weak or miscast player in this production.
Not being an astronaut or a botanist I have to say from the laymen’s view, the science works out just fine. I enjoyed watching the science unfold and how math and engineering and a team effort helped Mark survive. The choice he made to survive and how he did it was also a great life lesson. You are going to die unless you solve this problem, solve it and move to the next problem. The specter of death was always present but the ingenuity and drive of a man’s will to survive can overcome many obstacles.
Neal deGrasse Tyson gave his blessing on keeping the science accurate in a series of tweets. I think his approval of the film validates that a movie can be entertaining and accurate. What it gives me as a viewer is the thought of I could do that. Nothing Watney does is fantasy or fudged to make it a better story. Science is entertaining as it is.
Not seeing the 3D version I am unable to comment if if it added to the experience. I know that for some films 3D is more of a distraction and takes away from the story. When it is applied as a gimmick it almost never ends well. I may have to go and check it out to see if my hypothesis is correct. I’ll let you know if the 3D is better than a regular showing.
I saw the 3D version and it added a little depth (pun intended) but not enough to forgo the normal theatrical release.
The other effects in the film were done with care and don’t scream out that a CGI effect has been done. Mark’s emaciated body toward the end of the film as well as the floating debris in space blends in so well that they all enhance the imagery without drawing attention to themselves.
Mark’s sense of humor helps him a lot in the weeks and months alone. He makes logs to keep a chronicle of his journey and Matt Damon embodies that character well. His touches of sarcasm and mental acuity are played well that gives Mark a charm that draws you into his plight and engages you in his survival. You want him to live because you fall in love with how down to Mars he is.
I have been ordered to read the book by a friend who says that the book as a lot of humor in it. As I understand it there are a number of cut scenes. There are a lot more of Matt Damon cracking wise in character for the camera. I can’t wait for the blue ray to come out so I can see them.
What blue ray release have you waited for in hopes of great extra features?