So apparently there is a kick starter to try and save Matt Damon from Mars. People thought this was actually based on a true story by the way. Do people not pay attention to the news? I think this would have been pretty big if it had happened. The film on the other hand? Out of this world!
This film sort of came out of nowhere for me. I knew about it and had seen a trailer a while back, but it just seemed like Ridley Scott was jumping on the astronaut film band wagon. This was wrong of me I apologise. The story (based on Andy Weir’s 2011 novel) is fantastically realistic, or at least seems so. Ever part has been carefully thought about. Mark (Damon) is hit by debris form a satellite during a storm on Mars. The rest of his crew believe him to be dead and abort the mission, heading back to Earth. This is going to take them months (I forget how many) and so of course on their way they receive a message telling them that Watney is alive. Ares III Commander Melissa Lewis takes the blame from the rest of her crew, but what I like about this film is it doesn’t spent too much time focusing on her typically losing her mind with guilt and having to overcome her feelings on this. We brush swiftly past this and onto Mark’s survival.
I won’t go into detail of how Mark stays alive. The great part about watching this for the first time was not knowing what was coming. The film just got better and better. Mark’s spirit throughout the ordeal is uplifting and humorous. I feel ready to be stranded on Mars. Actually I don’t this was another film that made me frightfully aware how safe just being on the ground it. Nothing above 6ft for me thanks unless it’s a wave. To keep up morale Mark keeps a video log. This gives the film that extra realism I think as we see these through the GoPro camera themselves that are hooked up around the base.
For a film about a man being alone on a planet this has a pretty big cast. Kristen Wiig stars as Annie Montrose, spokesperson for NASA. Jeff Daniels actually becomes dislikable as the head of NASA. Donald Glover who I only really know from Community plays Rich Purnell, a NASA astronomer. I think Matt Damon was in it? And Sean Bean plays one of his very few roles which doesn’t require him to die. Nobody stood out to me as somebody who shouldn’t be in this film. Everybody delivered a very convincing performance, it was truly very realistic and that’s what I loved about it. I mean, realism is why everybody started loving Batman right? It works.
There are some fantastic references to other films in The Martian. Not what you want to know about I guess but I was geeking OUT! If you’re a huge dork like me and like surprises don’t read on. A small council at NASA consider a new way to fetch Watney from Mars. This idea comes from Rich (Glover) and is dubbed “Project Elrond”. He claims it is due to the resemblance to the secret council in The Fellowship of the Ring. Somebodu in the rooms pipes up with “I wanna be Glorfindel” or something along those lines. Anyway, Sean Bean is sat in the room at this moment. WHY there is no mention to Boromir I don’t know… I suppose it would have been too cheesy, the joke worked with it’s brief comments so I guess I’ll let it go. Another than this… there is a great Iron Man joke too which I’ll leave to you to find out.
The Martian is probably one of the best films of 2015. Not my personal favourite but still clearly an excellent film. The shots of Mars were filmed in the desert (I forget where) as told to me by the person who made the space suits… she came to the cinema I work at to see the film, she was pretty convincing I believed it. Everything looks really great and the barren landscape of Mars is extremely convincing. I’m giving the film a solid 9.
Thanks for reading, I’ll probably write about another Gyllenhaal film next I expect.