We discovered Andy Weir’s book late, but everyone I knew that had read it and loved it, so we gave it a go, and we loved it too of course!
The story is simple enough, a space exploration team on Mars have to make an emergency evacuation due to changing conditions, during which team member Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) is struck by flying debris and presumed dead, leaving Captain Melissa Lewis (Played by Jessica Chastain) having to make the painful decision to leave the planet without him to save the other crew members.
Needless to say Watney isn’t dead, but now stranded with limited supplies and a rescue mission that can take up to 4 years, he needs to use science to come up with ways to survive. NASA find this out through satellite images showing his movement.
NASA, having announced to the world that Watney is dead are now are on a race against time to bring him back!
The book was fantastic and pushed up the tension with all sorts of setbacks happening to Mark, and the film does so too. We have plenty of humour involved too, as Mark discovers he can grow potatoes using Mars soil, human waste and by building a system to turn air into water.
We feel his isolation as he is stranded with no one to talk too, communication is made using text only so the first voices he hears are his hope that he is to be rescued. Mark shows great character to go on especially when all he has is access to old TV re-runs and Seventies music from the crews belongings, giving the film a great soundtrack.
Now some of our favourite books have made the big screen to varying levels of success, well we are pleased to say this is a very faithful adaptation. The book does give more issues and setbacks which you may find missing. However with the aid of visual a lot of the issues that are shown are solved with less explanation than in the book.
This is, in our humble opinion, is easily Ridley Scott’s best film since Gladiator with special mention going to screenwriter Drew Goddard who much like his adaptation of World War Z has been faithful to the book.
The cast is fantastic, Matt Damon steals the show as Mark Watney, but even though his crew is fairly one-dimensional in character, they all do enough to be worthy of your time, Chastain as Captain Lewis being the standout but Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan and Aksel Hennie all do well with what they have.
On ground control, Jeff Daniels as head of NASA is excellent as is Chiwetel Ejiofor who have to make the decisions to a rescue mission being viable. Kristen Wiig in a straight role as the head of PR and Sean Bean as the man making decisions for the crew are all great as well.
So casting, direction and screenplay, as well as some great visual effects, even if you haven’t read the book, for us The Martian is a must see.
Did you like the Martian? Did you prefer the book, we’d love to hear from you
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