Wow. What a movie! I’m not a science fiction fan and didn’t love “Gravity,” for example, but “The Martian” isn’t a science fiction movie. It’s a movie about science – big difference. It’s also a movie about hope and ingenuity and it’s such a positive statement about the courage of astronauts undertaking dangerous missions. Go NASA, in other words.
Matt Damon is great as the astronaut who gets inadvertently left behind on Mars during an aborted mission. He’s all alone on the lonely planet while everyone at NASA, including his crew, assumes he’s dead. From here on, the movie could have been a bore like the Robert Redford sailing movie from last year, “All Is Lost.” It could also have been like “Castaway” in which Tom Hanks talks to his volleyball (or was it a soccer ball? a basketball? can’t remember). Instead, it’s a survival story that’s truly about surviving. Damon’s character grows potatoes in his organic, hermetically sealed garden and sustains himself that way. He manages to get his electronics working to the point where he can communicate with his command center and slowly there’s a mission to bring him home.
Ridley Scott of “Alien” fame knows how to shoot a movie for maximum effect. He’s a terrific director and should get an Oscar nom for this one. (Note: Seeing it in 3D was amazing!!!) He makes you feel as if you’re on Mars with Damon and experiencing everything he’s experiencing.
I won’t reveal more about the plot, and will just end by saying “The Martian” is what moviegoing in a theater is supposed to be about: a grand entertainment. This is not one to wait for on TV.