Student reviews “The Martian”

Cat Stephens, Contributing Writers

After dragging my friends to the movie theater to see the newest flick about spaceships, astronauts, or aliens, I understand that space movies are not for everyone. The Martian, though, is not just a movie about a NASA botanist stranded on Mars after his crewmates are forced to abort mission during a sandstorm (although that still sounds pretty awesome to me). It is also a movie about trust, loneliness, failure, triumph, and most importantly, humor. Based on a novel of the same title by Andy Weir, The Martian is a movie that takes elements from many different genres in order to create the perfect movie that anyone can enjoy. Upon the release of The Martian, critics raved not only about its scientific accuracy, but also about the truthfulness it portrayed regarding human nature in times of distress. Many review sites, such as Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, and Metacritic, gave the film extremely high ratings. The film lived up to its expectations, earning a whopping $55,000,000 on its opening weekend.

In the movie, Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is faced with a myriad of obstacles when he discovers that he is the only man on Mars. Watney is grounded on the planet for what he calculates to be years and will be left on the planet if he is not able to reach NASA and his crew to let them know he is still alive. Something that was particularly surprising about this film was that the brave, heroic, hilarious Watney we meet at the beginning of the story remains upbeat and relatively tranquil throughout his stay on the Red Planet. If something makes or breaks this movie, I would have to say it is Damon. His performance is undeniably authentic and believable, and I guess that some of the funniest parts of the movie were not in the script at all, but rather improvised by Damon himself. Damon gives an absolutely brilliant performance playing Watney as a direct, intelligent man who is not afraid to have some fun, even during times of crisis.

Thanks to Damon’s excellent performance, the story is able to ring true emotionally to viewers who have never been stranded on a barren planet before. Throughout the film, Watney keeps video diaries that allow us to see his thoughts and feelings, during which he continues to display his humor while also figuring out tough situations. The video diaries force Watney to talk to himself, which he does an awful lot of anyway, but who can blame him? He is stranded on Mars.

The Martian is definitely a movie worth seeing, even if science fiction is not the genre for you.The film was one of the best I have seen, with its brutal honesty, uncanny humor, and impeccable actors. Go see The Martian!