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REVIEW by Richard Rivera
The power of The Martian lies in the premise that although unforeseen disasters occur, they inspire rescue missions to save a crew member, regardless of the odds.
The Martian, which was directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator, Exodus: Gods and Men), boasts an impressive cast of high-powered actors such as Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Kirsten Wigg, Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, and others.
In the first few minutes of the film the site of the ARES III Mars habitat is hit by a blinding sand storm that separates Mark Watney (Matt Damon) from the rest of the crew as they make their way to the ship and prepare to evacuate. Watney, who is believed to be dead, is marooned on Mars.
Matt Damon gives a believable, extraordinary performance as the marooned astronaut, and the story mesmerizes with details of surviving a hostile environment that challenges us in the most basic ways: producing enough food and water to live.
The Martian presents us with the extraordinary landscapes of “Mars” (which are far more believable than the snapshots the average person takes of the Grand Canyon while on vacation), notwithstanding the fact that a good part of it was filmed on location in Wadi Rum, Jordan. (And the miracles of special effects….)
There is nothing metaphysical or supernatural in the story of The Martian nor is it Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles. It is straightforward science-fiction in the best tradition of landing a crew on another world. It is a fascinating but very nuts-and-bolts space disaster movie, and as with Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity or Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, the scenarios are totally believable, and the heroes have the daring and thrilling ingenuity to logically problem-solve their way out of disastrous situations. If you loved those films then you will be thoroughly engaged by The Martian.
October 7, 2015
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