Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Movie Review: The Martian
When Andy Weir's book The Martian came out, it was one of those "it" books that everyone in the bookstore was reading at the same time. At least, I remember considerable wrangling over the store's galley and excited conversations going around the store- who had read it, who was reading it next, what everybody thought. Because I'm not a big science fiction reader I was the absolute last person to get the galley and I'm a little embarrassed to admit I still haven't read it.
But I did see the movie this past weekend and it has definitely sparked my interest in the book.
The story is about a botanist named Mark Watney who is left behind on a manned mission to Mars, in what feels like roughly the present day. If the film referenced a date I did not catch it. Anyway Matt Damon plays the very likeable Watney, a smart and hardworking scientist who realizes very quickly that in order to survive, he is going to have to "science the shit" out of his situation.
The action cuts between three settings- Watney on Mars, the team of scientists, administrators and politicos on Earth who figure out first that he's still alive and then have to puzzle out how to get him home, and finally Watney's crew on their way back to Earth in the Hermes, a space vehicle roughly the size of my Disney World resort. Jessica Chastain plays his commanding officer on the mission and Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor turn in appealing performances as NASA officials. Sean Bean seems to be there to take the brunt of a "Lord of the Rings" in-joke. Kristen Wiig even shows up as a public-relations officer.
The Martian the film is a fun, entertaining movie with a predictable ending. I would definitely recommend it for a fun night out but it wasn't like all deep or anything. But like I said I am more curious about the book now that I've heard the book is somewhat different!