The Martian is a brilliant movie. The acting, screenplay, direction, and cinematography are just brilliant. This is the best word I can think of that describes the movie and the world that is created by director Ridley Scott. This is an experience and not just a movie, that’s how good it is.
Matt Damon play Mark Watney, an botanist astronaut who is part of the six person crew exploring Mars. Because of a freak storm and accident, the crew abandons the mission and he is left behind, thought for dead. However, he does wake up and begins to address the situation of his abandonment. His greatest challenge is time. He needs to have food and water that will allow him to last the time needed to survive until the next mission arrives.
Damon play the part as a astronaut and botanist would do, he works through the supplies he has, figures out what he has and how he can make them last, and “sciences the hell” out of the situation. He faces the situation with tongue in cheek humor, while coming up with some pretty impressive solutions to the challenges put before him.
The rest of the cast are just phenomenal. Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, and Donald Glover are just fantastic in each of their parts. They bring just the right amount of emotion to each scene. They all play off one another and their interactions show the right amount of despair, humor, pain, anxiety, and determination. Just a fantastic cast.
Director Ridley Scott deserves an Academy Award nomination for his efforts on this movie. To oversee the editing, visual effects, sound effects, and actors show just a master at the peak of his skills. Every single choice in the movie is a win.
Do not wait to see this movie. See it on a large format screen with digital sound.
4 stars – a Hitting a Mark recommendation.