Thought dead after a failed mission, astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars as his crewmates make a hasty exit. Left with a workable amount of previsions and equipment, Mark must find a way to survive for as long as it will take for NASA to mount a rescue mission… If they decide to mount a rescue mission.
We all know Ridley Scott knows how to direct sci-fi, it’s been pretty evident since the 70s. Even in more recent times, if you haven’t wholly liked the films he’s put out I can virtually guarantee it isn’t because of the visuals or directorial style. It can’t be argued with, Scott knows how to put a damn good-looking film together.
So with that in mind it’s almost a mute point talking about the seamless visual splendour of his latest film, The Martian, but never the less… blah blah blah brilliant design work, blah blah blah perfectly integrated physical and digital FX, blah blah blah slick editing, blah blah blah excellent pace and so forth.
We’ve been blessed over the last three years with at least one brilliant science based ‘space’ film per year. Last year we had Interstellar and the year before that we had Gravity, both wonderfully executed and affecting in their own way, and I’m pleased to say that The Martian can be comfortably added to that list.
Just as gripping as those film, if somewhat less heart-wrenching, The Martian makes it’s own stamp through likeable characters and a confident sense of humour, carried off effortlessly by a fantastic cast led by a top form Matt Damon. Being that the cast is pretty big, rather than just listing them I shall direct you to the film’s IMDB page, a cursory inspection of which will clue you in immediately as to the level of quality on display.
Having not read the critically acclaimed book that the film is based on I can’t comment as to the accuracy of the film in regards to the source material, but the adaptation was written by Drew Goddard, the writer of Cloverfield, writer/director of Cabin in the Woods and initial writer/show runner for Netflix’s Daredevil show. Goddard can be put next to someone like Joss Whedon in terms of character approach and left field ideas yet manages to avoid the kind of over-egged plots that often come from modern sci-fi blockbusters; so it can’t be stressed enough what a vital contribution his presence was on The Martian, arguably as important as Scott and Damon’s presence, or at least I think so.
For a film with a two hour twenty minute running time, The Martian skips by at such a pleasing pace that you wish it’d go on for even longer. An intriguing story combined with an adorably likable script and cast are expertly governed by a world class director function at his best to make a film that is a true and honest good-old-cinema-time. Mucho recommended.