Ridley Scott is without a doubt one of the best Sci-Fi directors in the history of cinema. He created such classic films like Ailien and Bladerunner that established him and allowed him to stretch his creative legs. In the last few years he has returned to his roots, first with Prometheus and now with The Martian, which may soon join the list of his best Sci-Fi movies.
Based on the novel by Andy Weir, The Martian is the story of astronaut Mark Watney who is part of a team sent to Mars for discovery and exploration purposes. While out doing research they are alerted that a storm is on it’s way, while preparing everything for its arrival, Watney is swept away. After assessing that there is no way he could have survived, the rest of the team depart the red planet and inform NASA of the events.
Little does anyone know, Watney was miraculously able to survive. With virtually no way to contact NASA and the crew that left him behind, he is forced to find a way to survive long enough until it is theoretically possible that someone may be able to rescue him in time. Watney uses humor while keeping a video diary of his activities showing how he managed to stay alive and sustain himself. The longer he is there, the harder everyone works to find the best way to bring him back alive and not lose him for a second time.
The Martian has really best three things that make a very good movie, a great script, a great director and a great cast. The cast is lead by Golden Globe winner, Matt Damon who really breathes life into the character, is the perfect choice. I would argue the only cast member that doesn’t seem to fit their role to perfection, is Jeff Daniels. That is not at all meant to be a slight to Daniels, who is one of the great veteran actors working right now, but he just feels off as the head of NASA.
As I mentioned before, Ridley Scott is definitely back in his element and it shows. He took the great script and the evenly paced the story along while never leaving the viewer feel they were left our not explained what they need to understand. There is an industry saying that goes, ” a director can’t make a bad script and make a good movie but, he can take a good script and make a bad movie.” The second half of that statement can easily happen with a Sci-Fi movie and it does all to often.
The Martian flows and evolves the story just right. It’s entertaining while be just the right amount of light hearted as well as edge of your seat exciting. It’s a movie experience well worth the nearly two and half hour that never feels dragged out and is completely free of lulls.