I bet they only cast Sean Bean because of that scene about “Project Elrond”.

Featuring
Matt Damon as Mark Watney
Jessica Chastain as Cmdr Melissa Lewis
Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose
Jeff Daniels as Theodore Sanders
Michael Pena as Mjr Rick Martinez
Kate Mara as Beth Johansson
Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck
and Sean Bean doesn’t die!

So, Mars. There are heaps of great stories about Mars, think of War of the Worlds without Tom Cruise. Or the canals astronomers existed on the planet. But most movies about Mars have been shite. There was that forgettable one about the famous face on Mars. And then there was that other one that was so lazy that they made the ground green with moss and plantlife, but still showed the planet as red in space shots.

Finally, we have a movie worthy of watching. The Martian stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, whos is conveniently, as you’ll find out, a botanist, left marooned on the red planet after a huge dust storm sweeps across their landing site and the crew aborts the mission.

While America mourns the apprent death of Watney, he vows not to die on Mars, and sets about ensuring his own survival. Knowing when the next mission to Mars will arrive, and so his objective is to not only survive until that time, but also drive all the way there, carrying his equipment and food supply.

While everything seems quite hunky dory, something goes wrong (of course), and makes Watney’s survival even less likely. The race is on at NASA to try to find a safe way of getting Watney home, before his food supply runs out.

What I love about this movie is the fact that it’s based on scientifically plausible settings and outcomes. Certainly, most of the things we see in the movie, the Hermes spacecraft, the habitats and the Martian landscape itself, is based on the most up to date knowledge. They scienced the shit out of this movie, and it makes it better. No stupid crap about faces on Mars, thanks.

Also, despite the pretty glum subject matter and the potential for catastrophic failure, Watney keeps his sense of humour about him. So does NASA. Really, this movie is a tribute all the geeks and nerds who actually make the space program possible. It’s also for the future geeks and nerds (who will become engineers and scientists), who dream of building something that will allow humans to go to Mars.

The Martian is quite possibly the first awesome movie about Mars. Ever. For a while there were heaps of Mars movies, but because they sucked, people actually became engrossed by the real discoveries happening there, like the discovery of water, and the adventures of the newest rovers to land there. But that’s for the better. Mars is a desolate and dangerous place, but there are no monsters or aliens there. The fear factor has to do with survival against the harshness of the universe, rather than some random aggressive creatures.

Rating

Super good. Though they have spent a lot of money rescuing Matt Damon, and sometimes, it’s not even successful!

Watch this if you…

Are a science/engineer geek and are not afraid to eat food fertilised by your own poop.

Skip this if you…

Are looking for action packed excitement. Maybe go with something like 2009’s Doom?

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