Not your typical space movie, so enjoy ride with ‘The Martian’


Matt Damon stars as Mark Watney, an astronaut who is abandoned on Mars, only to have his crew fight to find their way back to him over the course of the film.

Zachery Halsey, Staff Writer

      Imagine waking up in the middle of a foreign planet with no one to help you and limited food and oxygen resources. What would you do? Most people would decide then and there that their life is at an end and suffer from a breakdown.

Only a few would have enough sense to carry forward and look for solutions to a problem. The film “The Martian” creates a scenario that really brings forth the strength and determination of the human spirit.

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut on a mission to Mars who is presumed dead after a storm struck his crew on their way off the surface. Little does his crew know, Watney is still alive and is stuck on the desolate planet.

Watney quickly gets to searching for solutions and uses his skills as a botanist to plan ahead for his long stay on Mars. The movie then begins to flash between the perspectives of Watney on the surface, his crew in space and the scientists back on earth trying to get Watney home safely.

When I first heard of this movie, I wasn’t that interested, but after it recieved some decent praise and I watched the trailer, I began to warm to the idea.

Damon’s performance of Watney was an interesting take on the lost in space movie trope. Usually you see the main character going through anxiety attacks or are frightened by their situation. Damon created the character to be more of an optimist. Talking to his camera diary while on Mars, Watney cracks jokes at the expense of his situation and just talking about the cool side of being on Mars.

It was refreshing to see the comedic side to a bad situation. I am not saying this is a comedy by any means, but there were laughs every now and then.

The film felt more like a man reaching a goal instead of just fighting for survival.

What made this film different from other space movies like “Gravity” is that it shows the effort and teamwork it takes from the people trying to get Watney off Mars, more than Watney himself on Mars.

These were the more interesting parts.

If I have one gripe, it is the amount of liberties the creative team took in explaining some of their scenes, mostly in the ending parts of the film.

I am no rocket scientist, but even I stared at the screen and muttered “Are you serious?”

For instance, in order to get Watney the space crew explodes a bomb in their shuttle to propel them closer to Watney’s.

That’s like setting off a bomb in a plane but one 100 percent more deadly.

Another example of this film taking things a little too far: in order to make Watney go faster, the control center tells him to replace the top and windows of his shuttle with a tarp.

I can’t make that up.

“The Martian” is a fun adventure with some decent acting and a great story. If you are looking for a film to sit back and enjoy, then this is definitely a movie worth your time.

If you are a person that likes a little more reality in films, then Houston, you may have a problem.