So, today’s my birthday and this means that yesterday, a visit to the cinema was in order. I think this is probably the first time you’re getting a recent release, so can we all just take minute to appreciate this rare commodity…
After a fierce storm on a manned mission to Mars, one astronaut is separated from the crew and presumed dead. Little do his team know that he is still alive and alone on planet with only a handful of supplies and his own ingenuity to survive.
During their mission to Mars, Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) and her crew are hit by an unexpected storm and have to abort their operation and return to Earth. Whilst attempting to evacuate, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is struck by debris and sent flying into the storm. His crew is forced to abandon him, thinking him killed by a rupture in his spacesuit. However, Mark is, in fact, alive, but faces the prospect of not being so in the very near future if he cannot find any solutions to the seemingly endless number of problems he has encountered in his first few hours isolated in the never-ending Martian wilderness. Mark has to call upon every ounce of his training; venture to the darkest corners of his scientific brain and rely upon his wit, determination and spirit…. and the potato to survive long enough for NASA to coordinate a rescue mission to bring him home.
The Martian is basically Ridley Scott doing what Ridley Scott does best – unfortunate events taking place in outer space. It is a real thrill ride that I think could do pretty well during the awards season. Seriously, to anyone who has not seen it yet, I highly recommend you get yourself down to your local cinema and watch it because it is a truly wonderful experience, and if you can get to a 3D screening, even better! You can really lose yourself in the whole thing and, for me, that was the best thing about it.
The general cinema viewing experience was inevitably greatly enhanced by the tremendous performance by Damon. He was brilliant. He made Mark Watney a very likeable character who you wanted to come out on top right from the word go – something that was vital considering that, for the vast majority of the film, it is just Damon parading around Mars growing potatoes, sending emails back and forth to NASA, and eating his potatoes. The reason for why you’re rooting for Mark from the very beginning? His charm and wit. There were times when he was giving his little mission updates that the whole cinema just erupted with laughter. Damon kept this up from start to finish, which also made his fellow crew members, devotion to saving him very believable.
Jessica Chastain as Mark’s commander, Melissa Lewis, was equally as good, however I was slightly disappointed to find that, despite being one of the top-billed cast members, Chastain was in the film only for a relatively short amount of time. Nonetheless, when she was on-screen, Chastain’s Lewis was every part the strong female character I wanted her to be, which I suppose is some conciliation.
The rest of the cast was nothing short of star-studded. Alongside Damon and Chastain were the likes of Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Of course, this meant that what I frequently heard throughout the first hour of the film was, ‘Ah, now, that’s your man from that thing with that other eejit in,’ from my dearest father sat next to me. The Martian certainly, and very quickly, turned into a rather A-list version of Guess Who?.
So, I’ll say it again, The Martian is a film that you most definitely need to catch whilst it is still in cinemas to immerse yourself fully in the heart of the action. Ridley Scott has added yet another sci-fi accomplishment to his already triumphant filmography with this film, and I think we should all acknowledge that.
P.S. Alice, YOU MISSED MATT DAMON GETTING NAKED ON MARS, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!