This trailer wants me to feel quite a few different emotions in a very short span of time! That’s ok though. I’ve been following this movie since it was announced, and I’m just happy to finally see some footage. The trailer itself had some great moments as well as a few moments that had me going eh. Speaking of these moments, to slightly change a Matt Damon line in the trailer, I’m going to have to critic the shit out of this. So, take a seat and leave no man behind as we dive into this trailer review!
The Cast (or Should I Call Them Crew?)
The day before the trailer dropped, they had released a short video of Matt Damon’s character Mark Watany helps introduce each crew member. It gave a lot of insight to the level of camaraderie we’d be seeing in the trailer. Once, the trailer dropped, I didn’t see a decreased level of this bond. I saw each character interact with each other very naturally and as if they’d been through hell and back together. Not only does each actor work well with the other, but the amount of talent in this movie is basically criminal. Each actor is nothing but sheer talent. Even those with smaller roles are fucking thespians! I can’t wait to get a bigger chunk of screen time of them all on Mars before the storm. And Jeff Daniels, you either make me fucking crack up, or make me feel the kind of emotion that I don’t even experience in real life! I’m glad to see him a huge movie like this.
Some of these visuals are very convincing. Landscapes are usually one of Ridley Scott’s strong areas, so it’s really no surprise that I felt like I was literally watching footage from Mars. However, while being unsurprised I was still impressed. I am someone who really appreciates when movies take the time to create luscious settings for their characters to inhabit, such as Mad Max: Fury Road or Jurassic Park. I just hope that we get to see more of Mars than what is shown in the trailer.
The tracking shots, establishing shots, and close-ups really hit the viewer on all fronts. It funnels you down to the nitty gritty while reminding you of the grandeur that is present throughout. Also, something that I didn’t notice until after a few viewings, I thought it was clever that the shots on Mars have a very distinct red tone to them while all shots on Earth have a very distinct blue hue to them to further the disconnect and dichotomy between the two worlds. I found myself feeling more and more considered by the fact that Watany was on Mars, and I figured out that it was this color trick that kept disconnecting my mind. I enjoyed that very much.
Who isn’t fascinated and at least somewhat frightened of space? Especially being left stranded in such a hospitable place. Shit, I can’t even imagine being left in like Detroit for a night without a phone without starting to panic, let alone being left on Mars! Watany’s perseverance is so human that it just draws you in. I don’t ever wish to be in any kind of similar situation, but I could only hope to have the knowledge and perseverance to, “Science the shit out this!” Also, the idea that his crew is going to go rogue and get his ass is awesome. They are some badass astronauts! Overall, just the idea of being left behind on Mars with minimal supplies and your wits is terrifying, but extremely interesting. Now, add in all the other elements like the crew coming back, other Mars related accidents or occurrences, and any other things we don’t even know are coming make me so hyped for this movie!
What Didn’t Work?
Everyone is Sad
Literally, the first shot of every character introduced in this movie look sad as shit. I mean this isn’t a huge issue, but I just feel like this is the wrong way to introduce characters that are going to be beacons of hope and perseverance. Each character has the courage to do something amazing in this film, yet all look like they shit their pants in front of a crowd and now everyone’s laughing at them.
I mentioned this a bit already, but wow does this trailer feel a bit all over the place with what it expects you to feel. It starts with sadness, then goes to hopelessness, then comedy, then hopeful, then it wants you to feel tense at the prospect of such time until Watany is saved. The transitions between each emotion is too abrupt so that I feel almost fatigued by the end of the trailer. It also takes away from the cohesiveness of the trailer. I would have rather they split these emotions into two separate trailers. I would have liked the first trailer to feel a bit hopeless with underlying prospects of a solution, only to deliver a hopeful solution in the second trailer. It would’ve let the audience catch their bearings and better experience what the filmmakers were trying to make us feel.
I Know It All
I haven’t read the book nor looked for spoilers online, yet now I feel like I know 70% of this film from just watching this trailer. It’s only the first trailer too! It wasn’t as bad as the Southpaw trailers, but I feel like the audience could have gone without knowing quite as much as we do now thanks to the trailer. For instance, I would have liked to see his ingenuity flourish on screen, and find out that his crew’s decision to get him back would be an act of mutiny. I feel like these could have been left out and still got us excited for the film.
Honestly, the trailer was damn good and got me even more excited for this film than I already was. It has done it’s job, and doesn’t make me nervous. Each criticism I had was a bit more self-contained within the trailer itself, but the movie still looks extremely interesting and fun. I can’t wait for it! Also, quick side-note, the title of the film, The Martian, seems to insinuate to me that perhaps he ends up having to stay on the planet, or even he and the crew must live on the planet indefinitely. I think that’d be a great plot twist!
Score: Better Than Living On Mars I’m Sure!
As always my friends, let me know what you think in the comments below and tell me if you had a similar impression, or you just think I’m crazy! I would love to hear what you all thought about this first trailer! Did you get even more excited? Less excited? Did it give too much away? Did it switch tone to quickly? Please be sure to follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey and check me out on comicbookmovie.com, and of course on my website www.slackernerds.com!