During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But 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. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña.
Release Date: Oct 02, 2015
Rated PG-13 for Injury Images, Brief Nudity and Some Strong Language
Runtime: 2 hr. 22 min.
Ridley Scott’s The Martian is a welcome return to form for the acclaimed director. The film is a visually stunning and thoroughly engaging story of survival. It’s an impressive achievement since it the type of film that focuses on a single character. The story can be described as a mixture of Castaway and Gravity sans manufactured sentimentality. The man at the center of the film is Matt Damon’s Mark Watney. Damon’s performance is impressive because it steers clear of the typical tropes we’ve seen previously, keeping the performance rational and fresh. Damon dominates the first half of the film and it’s to the film’s benefit. The story starts to falter just a bit when it loses focus on Damon and starts throwing a myriad of supporting characters some of which are more distracting than interesting…..Kristin Wiig & Donald Glover immediately come to mind. I would have preferred more characterization on Watney’s crew which gets the short end of the stick. Minor quibbles aside; The Martian is a thoroughly enjoyable survival story which earns the most of its 2 hours plus run time.