The Martian

Matt Damon in The Martian (Twentieth Century Fox)
Matt Damon in The Martian (Twentieth Century Fox)

What it's about:

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm. Left behind by his crew, Watney has survived, and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist, and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

What we thought:

NASA’s recent discovery of water on Mars could not have come at a better time for the filmmakers behind The Martian.

With all the focus and hype now surrounding the mysterious outer realms of Earth the interest in the Red Planet is more prevalent than ever.

Cue Matt Damon under the direction of Ridley Scott in a space adventure movie that will blow your mind and have you sitting at the edge of your seat.

During a manned mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew.  

But surprise. Mark isn’t dead. He’s alive and now he has to let his crew and NASA know that they need to come back and get him. But how? And if he does by some miracle make contact with them it could take years for them to reach him. How will he survive on a planet where nothing else does?

I’m not going to divulge more than that. The great pleasure in watching The Martian is seeing the puzzle pieces come together on the big screen in front of you. And yes The Martian, like with Mad Max, must be experienced in a cinema to truly appreciate its depth.

Once you slip on those dorky 3D glasses you’re off to Mars on a mission that will leave you breathless as you get lost in a super-realistic story that’s both horrifying and strangely satisfying to watch unfold.

Damon gives a tour de force performance and skillfully shoulders the success of the flick that rested solely on him. It’s not easy to keep a modern crowd of moviegoers interested for 141 minutes in a story that mostly takes place on a desolated planet with just Damon at the helm. But he does it. The 44-year-old actor brilliantly balances the funny with the serious and ultimately created a character that’s absolutely thrilling to watch.

The stellar cast is rounded off by Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Each of them bringing their own unique flavour to masterly colour in the rest of the picture as Damon’s “martian” tries to stay alive by having to “science the shit out of this”.

Seeing that I admittedly have no scientific background I can’t comment on the science in the movie. But what I do know is that science has never looked this sexy. This artfully crafted film captures the beauty of human intelligence so skillfully that you can’t help but relish in its aesthetic.

The Martian will undoubtedly evoke delightful childhood memories of astronaut dreams and inspire a whole new generation to want to fly off into space. The film is funny, frightening and utterly fantastic to watch. A must-see movie experience that you’ll want to share with everyone once you walk out of the cinema.

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