johnlink ranks THE MARTIAN (2015)

Wrote most of this article the day I watched it, but never got around to printing it. Been an absolutely crazy month. Haven’t watched a single movie since March 2nd, when I watched THE MARTIAN. So I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, this is truly the last movie I had time to watch!


I watched THE MARTIAN (2015) on 2.2.16. It was my first viewing of the film.

THE MARTIAN tells the story of a NASA Botanist, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) finding himself accidentally left for dead on Mars. With nothing but the supplies in a small outpost, he has to find a way to survive until he can communicate back home and get NASA to give him a ride back.

This is set in a not-too-distant future. This feels more like present day than Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR (almost as if it SHOULD be happening now, we just haven’t bothered to go to the moon yet). So, despite this having an alien setting, this is a movie which tries to problem solve in a realistic world. In that way, this is sort of a fictional, near-future version of APOLLO 13. Because of the fictional nature of it, THE MARTIAN is able to create and solve some huge problems, where as APOLLO 13’s issues seemed to center around smaller-scaled (but no less life-threatening) challenges. But, also due to its fictional nature, THE MARTIAN never is quite as intense as APOLLO 13.

If that sounds like too much of a knock on a movie which is a really, really great experience, it is not meant to be so. Matt Damon’s performance is as good as you would anticipate, but it is much funnier than you might expect. The supporting cast is vast, but we get some particularly good performances out of mission control in the person of NASA boss Jeff Daniels and mission head Sean Bean.

THE MARTIAN delivers solid effects, a really good script, an entertaining story, and likable characters. As a movie, it may not have the staying power of something like GRAVITY, but it is a more entertaining film that that one was. THE MARTIAN doesn’t necessarily sacrifice ‘film’ for ‘movie’, but it is probably entertainment before it is a serious movie.

But, again, that sounds like a criticism and it shouldn’t be.  THE MARTIAN is a really good, really solid experience. Damon works as a driving force – as he almost always does – and we never watch this movie wishing it was more. I certainly need to watch this again to make some final judgments on its value, but it is a movie which certainly warrants repeat viewings.




FINAL SCORE: 7.5 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on March 19, 2016.

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