Bring Him Home - the rally evoked in The Martian.

Space seems to be the trendy environment for original cinematic adaptations to take place, this time it is Ridley Scott‘s chance with The Martian, starring Matt Damon.

During a mission to Mars, the crew must make an emergency evacuation after a fierce storm, and leave the presumed dead Mark Watney behind. Unfortunately, or fortunately, for Mark, he is not dead, he is very much alive, but is now alone and stranded on the near uninhabitable planet and must persevere if he hopes to make it off the planet alive.

If I’ve said it once, I will say it again, the best films being released recently are those that take inspiration from novels rather than exhausting the pre-existing roster with a remake. The Martian isn’t quite outstanding in the way that Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar captivated audiences and awards shows, in comparison, it could only compare to Interstellar if you stripped Nolan’s creation of all cerebral content. It is energetically great like an action-adventure, thanks to its levity in matter rather than over-reaching toward lofty ambitions, a la Gravity, with which we were less than impressed.

 

In terms of a film, The Martian is an odd one in that, unlike most films, the audience basically knows what is going to happen. Despite this fact, you are still interested and engaged in the story and in Watney’s journey, a testament to both Matt Damon’s performance and the general ‘light’ tone created by Ridley Scott. And for a film lasting over two hours, you hardly notice thanks to its fast pace.

The Martian is not perfect, by any means, but it is great. Once Watney contacts NASA, the film loses a considerable amount of steam. NASA becomes a distraction from the gold of the film, and honestly I could have used less of that story line.

Everyone can relate to a survival story, it taps into a basic instinct all humans have, the twinge of fear that creeps up your neck telling you to fight or run, and sets it on fire. Whether this was the intention of the author Andy Weir, I can not say, but based on the film adaptation I am very interested in reading his original version of the narrative.

This quirky wannabe Cast Away set in space is sure to entertain movie goers, even if at times to is a bit formulaic in that manner. Using disco music, having a sassy main character, a lot of the methodical tropes of a good film are in The Martian, which is not bad per se but simply not original.