Short Review: It’s good, go see it.
Long review: In the tradition of Moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey,Gravity and Space Camp (remember Space Camp!?) The Martian gives us a mostly accurate and believable look at what space exploration might look like in the near future and it’s freaking great!
I liked many things about The Martian, one of them being how quickly it starts. There’s really no build up or explaining why we’re on the moon, what the goal is, what the problems might be in getting there. No, it just arts right off assuming we all understand all of that, or, perhaps we don’t care/it doesn’t matter, and gets right to them leaving...one of them behind.
It’s nice to see director Ridley Scott direct and produce a really well made film again after Exodus and The Counselor (heard both weren’t great, still haven’t seen either of them yet though). It’s also fun to see Matt Damon be a hero again...but without guns or killing (I’ll get into that in a bit).
No spoilers here, I’m not going to get into the plot, if you’ve seen the preview, you already know it’s about a dude who is on Mars...and doesn’t want to be on Mars anymore. There are a lot of details that go into keeping Matt Damon's character alive and getting him home.
So, here’s what I love about The Martian...it’s not a superhero movie, but it’s still a fun action/adventure/hero movie, if you follow all of that. Don’t get me wrong, I like me a good superhero movie. But...can we all admit they’re getting a little old now? Maybe they’re not quite done with their popularity, and they maybe they won’t be anytime soon, but still. I’m sort of done with them. Here’s why.
I can’t relate to them. I don’t have superpowers or incredible fighting skills and I’m not ultra rich or super good looking (some of them are all three). All I have is my...what do I have, um, mustache skills? Yep, we’re going with that.
It’s hard to relate to Superman, Thor, The Flash, Captain America, etc... because they all of these amazing powers that they don’t really have to earn or work on. They just get them and they fix their problems with them. I don’t have those powers, so how does that help me?
True, Halkeye, Batman and Ironman are all normal humans without magical powers, but...again, with the super rich or ultra good looking and have incredible fighting skills they’ve trained for years with. (Maybe not Iron Man...but he should have, come on).
True, Matt Damon is a pretty good lookin’ dude in The Martian, but the point of the movie is him working out his problems with his intelligence, knowledge, schooling, learning and ability to calm down and work through his problems.
I think that’s something we can all relate to. No, most of us will never be stranded on a planet all by ourselves, or an island, but we might get stranded in a parking lot by ourselves and that’s kind of the same...? No? Ok.
I really liked the many good messages in The Martian, namely that most problems can be solved by working through them one step at a time and getting help from people who care about you.
Go see it.
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