The first question I would be asking myself in this day and age of "everyone's a critic" is "Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?.... And also why should I read this review and not one of the other 10,000 that pop up every thirty seconds on my news feed?" Well, I can't really answer that but I will tell you this. I don't see myself as a critic or a reviewererer, I see myself as a movie enthusiast. I get excited when things go boom, I love kick ass fight scenes, I dig on cheesy lines and most of all I love to go where a movie wants to take me and if that place is Mars and even if the movie just wants to leave me there, then there I shall stay, at least until the credits roll.
The Martian is Ridley Scott's latest outing and if you aren't aware of who Ridley Scott is then I'll just say this to you "Get the f*ck out!" He is the man responsible for the original Alien movie and basically responsible for most sci-fi geeks Xenomorph wet dreams (Not that that's ever happened to me... but it happened last night!) I'm not going to list every movie he's ever done to try and sell his credibility to you, you'll just have to trust me when I tell you he's good, like REALLY good! If you'd like to more about him check his IMDB, that's why God invented it.
I do want to get right down to the nitty gritty though because I am known for waffling on sometimes and it's maybe some form of ADHD so I'll take my meds and try and make sure I stay on point with this review. The movie starts off pretty simply, astronauts go on a manned mission to Mars, we meet our main characters making smart ass quips and annoying each other but before you get to know them too well they are immediately thrown into a huge sand storm meaning that they have to make it back to their launcher and get their ass off of Mars. (*Don't worry, I'll work in a better Total Recall reference later) Unfortunately Matt Damon who is playing our protagonist, the crew's botanist Mark Watney is struck by some flying debris and is presumed dead and the crew leave the planet leaving him behind like a tent at the end of a festival.
Now usually I would refer to the main character as their actual name and not the character they played but with this performance, I have to say during the movies two hours and twenty minute runtime I felt like I got to know Mark Watney and I couldn't help but like his sure fire, cocky attitude even after he realises the predicament he's in he stays strong and as he records his video diary entries you find him hugely entertaining, clever but without rubbing it in your face that you don't know jack sh*t about space. I feel like I got it and so many other films (Interstellar, not to name names) can really fill up there scripts with so much crazy space psycho babble bullsh*t and jargon that we just get lost in what it is we're trying to follow but not The Martian, it can throw a whole load of science at you in an intelligent and clever way without making your brain want to climb out of your ear with a packed suitcase and go "Nope, I'm done!". Anyways, back to our plot Mark Watney is alive and stranded on Mars, he has enough food to last a while but not long so must do what he can to survive until the next manned mission to Mars arrives, which by the way is like ages away, so he has to do what he can to extend his life expectancy on Mars from zero to a million and quick. After some quick thinking Mark Watney chooses the only viable option, time to stir some shit, LITERALLY! I won't give away too much about this but yeah..... That actually happens.
The other half of this movie takes place off of Mars on our home planet, that's right, Earth. (See, you do know space stuff) We are introduced to our NASA Mission Control Team led by Teddy Sanders played by Jeff Daniels (Wait, what? You mean Jeff Bridges? He's much better.) Nope, it's actually Jeff Daniels and he's in charge of NASA which actually is believable, just because he agreed to make Dumb & Dumber To doesn't mean he's actually a bad actor, he really shows us that he can be taken seriously and still be likeable. That's one of the things that surprises you with this movie, I expected that Jeff Daniels would have been the uptight, Mr. Business, corporate bad guy but he wasn't. He played the character right down the middle, the decisions he made were clever and none seemed to be evil or bad, it maybe wasn't always right but it was justified which made for a refreshing change because I don't really think there was a bad guy in this movie. All space movies tend to have some sort of villain but this one it was just Mars versus everyone else banding together to try and do the right thing. Even at a later point in the movie the Chinese show up and are all like "Sup, need some help homies?" (I'm not good at doing accents) This felt like something that brought people together and every character played a strong roll, even the supporting characters got some great lines throughout the movie and played a pivotal roll in the rescue of their man. There were great laughs at a lot of points and that's a hard thing to do when dealing with such a heavy subject matter. The whole time you can't help but feel kind of guilty that you're having fun because everyone is so damn funny and there's that constant feeling of impending doom always looming over you waiting till you get too comfortable then throwing another massive obstacle in our protagonists way and you are reminded "Ooooh that's right, he gonna die!"
I won't go hugely into anything else except for my summary. In conclusion I'd say that The Martian is a clever, sexy, sophisticated, space extravaganza. You don't have to be smart to get it and you don't have to be dumb to love it. It plays to everyone (unless you're a weirdo that doesn't like space movies.) The writing is clever and the movie stays focused on the main points without throwing in any sort of side plots, such as an unnecessary love triangle or the tragic death of a family member. This movie is pretty much Castaway in Space and I'm gonna assume I'm not the first to make that comparison but the point isn't connecting these two movies, the point is that I love Castaway and I now love The Martian even more than that. It also has a great soundtrack, which I guess is a mandatory thing for space movies now but don't openly enjoy the songs because they pretty much get criticised by Mark Watney as he digs through all his crews personal belongings and music collections, although put to great use for comedic moments throughout Mark making his video diaries. This movie is a great watch and I hadn't decided on what rating I was going to give it until I had wrote my review and reading back on what I've wrote I realise I don't actually have a criticism to say...... Feels kind of weird.
So on that note I'm giving this movie a stonking 10/10. So if you haven't seen it, then I've got one thing to say to you...
I am The Dame
Get Your Ass To The Martian (*See, told you I would)
Go Funk Yourself!!