The Martian is a 2015 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. The film is based on Andy Weir's 2011 novel The Martian, which was adapted into a screenplay by Drew Goddard. Damon stars as an astronaut who is incorrectly presumed dead and left behind on the planet Mars, and who then fights to survive.
Here are my notes on The Martian:
1. It's that rare kind of commercial blockbuster/popcorn film that doesn't dumb itself down for the audience. Unlike Interstellar (that also starred Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain), this one was not overly serious, ergo never boring.
2. Think of it as Cast Away in Mars. This survival movie rested solely on Damon's muscled shoulders and it was a clear testament to his immense talents that watching crops grow never looked this exciting.
3. I've seen a lot of movies set in Mars but I've never imagined an arid Arizona desert whenever I see them. I don't know, I guess I was expecting a more hostile uninhabitable environment. Full disclosure: I haven't been to Arizona or Mars.
4. The rest of the cast was really really good as well. Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Chastain, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Donald Glover, all exceptional.
5. If I were a character in the movie, I would definitely be Jeff Daniels. He was very by-the-book and afraid to take chances but remained the voice of reason all throughout.
6. Speaking of Ejiofor, why was he cast in an Indian role? Yes, he's a great actor but wasn't anyone in Bollywood available? I never fully believed him as somebody named Venkat Kapoor. This wasn't even close to a British actor playing an American role. The part required a certain ethnicity that not just any talented actor could fill.
7. The manure fertilizer scene reminded so much of this atis tree in our province. As a kid, my mom warned me never to eat the fruit of that tree. I just realized now that it grew next to a public restroom. No wonder it bore the sweetest fruit.
8. I never cover my eyes in horror movies. My idea of horror would involve snakes, coffins, and syringes piercing the skin. One scene here made me cover my eyes for a good length of time since it involved a metal that pierced the tummy, the removal of the said metal, and the use of stapler to close the wound. I was thisclose to fainting.
9. See, China's not so bad after all.
10. "I'm the first person to be alone in the entire planet" has to be one of the saddest lines in movie history.
11. I swear I completely chewed off my cuticles in the last act of the movie. And Damon (finally showing wear and tear and genuine fear) was just too brilliant in the Saving Private Watney sequence.
12. You do know about the Sean Bean curse, right? That his survival rate in any movie or tv show is basically slim to nil? I was so happy that nobody died in this movie (not even Sean Bean). This was no Armageddon but it still pulled the heartstrings without even trying.
13. I Will Survive was played in the closing credits. Brilliant film, I tell you. — watching The Martian.
Movie Rate : ★★★★★
Written and Review by Jason Javier