The Martian is not just another space movie.
It poses an important question: do we love Matt Damon enough to watch him monologue for two and a half hours?
The answer: yes. Yes, we do.
Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut stranded on Mars after his crewmates made an emergency departure from the planet. Watney must “science the shit out of this” to keep himself alive. The astronaut records his adventures and plans on conveniently located GoPros.
The movie was just plain fun to watch. The lonely Mars-dweller entertains himself with what I thought were some great jokes, but I was often the only person in the theatre laughing. Either Damon missed his mark, or I have an above average sense of humour.
It breaks away from Castaway-like monotony by following events back on Earth. There, we get to enjoy some of our favourite actors, like Donald Glover and Kristen Wiig. Surprised? It only takes a few scenes with the comedians to see they can handle an action film.
And there is action – eventually. Things go wrong, spaceships take off, important machines blow up. The last twenty minutes of the film are pure suspense. The kind of suspense that has you forgetting to breathe and reaching for the hand of the stranger sitting next to you. .
Perhaps the greatest thing about The Martian was it made Mars adventures seem realistic. My only complaint? There were a few too many “breathtaking landscape” scenes.