In The Martian, based on the novel of the same title by Andy Weir, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is on a mission on Mars with five colleagues. Together they form the crew of Hermes, a spaceship that is at station Ares III to learn more about the planet.
However, when an unexpectedly strong storm whips over the red desert-like landscape they are forced to initiate an emergency evacuation. The team makes their way back to their ship, during which Mark is hit by debris and swept away from his friends. Thinking him dead, his friends leave the planet. For a while everyone on Earth thinks the same, but on Mars, Mark wakes up again, all alone.
The Martian felt very intense. Occasional wide-angle shots of Mars increase the feeling of desolation that emanates from Mark. The scenes on Mars, where Mark labours to keep himself alive, stand in stark contrast with the scenes of Earth, where hundreds of people are involved in orchestrating a way to save Mark and keep the media satisfied. Despite the size of the cast, I still got attached to many of the characters, even minor ones. The dynamics between these characters were interesting to watch, especially when their discussions led to the questioning of morals and how much they could do.
"Occasional wide-angle shots of Mars increase the feeling of desolation that emanates from Mark"
Another thing I liked was the usage of the many different cameras Mark uses to log his experiences on Mars, they provided the film with interesting angles.
However, I also feel like there was an element missing: the majority of screen-time is split between Mark and Earth, with little time dedicated to the crew of Hermes. I wanted to see more of the emotional impact their journey and assumed loss of their friend had on them.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Martian. It is definitely a must-see for any space-geeks, but I would recommend it to anyone who likes films that pack a big punch.
More like this: Prometheus (2012)