Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Mark Watney is a crew member of the Ares III Mars mission. During a routine exploration, the crew is warned of very extreme wheather conditions that force them to abandon the planet and return to their ship in orbit. Just as they are about to leave, debris hits Watney and the crew cannot get biometric readings, therefore, assume he is dead. They leave. But, as you probably guessed by now, he wasn’t dead and now he needs to survive in Mars until he is found.

Not sure why Hollywood keeps spending money in saving Matt Damon (who plays Watney). Think about it: Saving Private Ryan and Interstellar are the obvious ones. There is also Courage Under Fire, Titan AE, Syriana. So yeah, Matt Damon cannot be trusted with finding his way back, regardless of how honorable a man he is. I guess Ridley Scott, director of this book adaptation, didn’t get the memo.

That said, though, The Martian is a very good movie. It continues the recent trend of devoting most of the plotline to a single character in an extreme situation of solutide. The story is fun, thrilling, at times predictable, but overall, quite enjoyable. Considering how most of the plot is driven by Damon’s character, and since we’ve already established the guy has had plenty of experience playing “stranded”, one could expect no less. This sci-fi / space movie, a specialty of director Scott, delivers a complex story full great science bits that is surprisingly accessible. No Interstellar “wait, what did just happen and what in the…?” type of moments.

One good aspect about The Martian is that is balances the parts of the plot solely dedicated to Damon’s dealings with extreme isolation with good scenes of what happens on the other side of the fence. In other words, it focuses almost equally on the teams that work on the rescue effort. The ensemble cast used to portray this side of the story is an all-star one: Jessica Chastain as Commander Lewis, Michael Peña as Martinez, Kate Mara as Johanssen, Sebastian Stan as Beck, and Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel play crew to Damon’s Watney. On the NASA side there is Chiwetel Ejiofor as Venkat Kapoor, Jeff Bridges as NASA Director Teddy Sanders, Donald Glover as Rich Purcell, Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson, and Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose. Before you ask, the former , suprisingly does not die, the latter is not there for comic relief.

All in all, great film, highly recommended! And hopefully Matt Damon will lay off the getting lost plotlines in the foreseable future!

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