Wednesday, 28 October 2015

I've Just Seen: The Martian (2015)

The Martian (2015)

Director: Ridley Scott

I hadn't been to the cinema for a few months and was feeling the urge to see something on a big screen. The Martian had been on my radar, but I had not seriously considered it; unfortunately Ridley Scott's recent works have been disappointing. However, the positive reviews changed my mind, so rather than waiting to watch it sometime next year on my television, I went to see this in all its non-Vmax, non-3D glory.

I am glad I did. The Martian, like so many science fiction films, looks fantastic on the big screen. Mars, with its rich orange-red colour, was a great co-star with Matt Damon, whose Mark Watney was far less annoying to spend time with. The script was well paced, though I would have liked more time with the Ares crew (particularly as I am on a Chastain-a-thon at the moment). The special effects are wonderfully woven into the film; it supports the story rather than drawing attention to itself.

There is little room for existential crisis in this film; there is little doubt that NASA will not try to do as much as possible to bring Watney home, and the boppy disco soundtrack makes one too happy to think about how close one is to death. Science itself is an important part of the film, and proved less 'wha?' inducing than that featured in Interstellar.

I left the cinema feeling thoroughly entertained, which is what I expected to be. I also stayed to the end of the credits, and from them learnt that only did the film apparently create 15, 000 jobs, but a large portion of those were for Hungarian people; much of principle photography took place in Hungary as it has one of the largest sound stages in the world. Moral of the story: stay for the credits, you'll never know what you will learn. 


  1. There was also the bonus that we got a postscript of the participants, something the early risers missed.
    I listened to the audiobook before and after watching it in the cinema and the main difference is the explanations. We see Watney do a lot of stuff, but often we do not know why. We do in the book and that makes much of it make more sense. Though on the other hand that makes the book rather tech heavy.

    1. I thought they handled the exposition/ action balance well; anymore and the film would have collapsed under its own explanations.

      Sounds like the book and the film are good companion pieces: the explanations of the book and the visuals of the film complementing each other.