Now that Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir's novel "The Martian" is a bona fide blockbuster and potential Oscar frontrunner, I have found myself wondering," Am I missing something?"
Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoyed the flick. Even in 2-D, both the breathtaking panoramas of Mars' sepia-toned landscape as well as the very down to Earth story of a man being stranded on a giant ball of sand make for a great time at the movie theater. However, in the film's final moments, I felt a little let down. Not having read the novel or waiting to hear what critics and friends had to say about it beforehand, I went into it with pretty reasonable expectations.
What was less than stellar was the fact that it in no way felt like a Ridley Scott movie. Sure the technical prowess was there but the cutesy 70s era soundtrack overlaying the ending scenes felt more like the work of a director-for-hire rather than the latest offering from the auteur behind BLADE RUNNER, ALIEN, and THELMA & LOUISE. As much as I liked it, THE MARTIAN never truly involved me emotionally. The similarly themed APOLLO 13 and CAST AWAY had better payoffs as did the Christopher Nolan's recent INTERSTELLAR. Audiences didn't quite embrace that wormhole-laden story as they have THE MARTIAN but it's still a better movie, and a much more thought-provoking one at that - and the fact that Jessica Chastain is in both films kept reminding me how much more I liked INTERSTELLAR.
I will see THE MARTIAN again, this time in 3-D. I doubt that will change the feeling of forced uplift I felt in the last twenty minutes, but I have been wrong before, and maybe it's just me who's lost in space.