By Brandon Sayareh and David Yu, Clarion Contributors
The Martian mixes wit, science, ingenuity, and disco to create an enthralling movie set on the red planet of Mars.
Matt Damon perfectly fits into the role of Mark Watney, a botanist (plant scientist) and engineer who has been thrown into a Robin Crusoe situation and now finds himself stranded on the planet of Mars with just a bag of potatoes, a habitat, and his own ingenuity. The movie shows how Watney solves the multitudes of problems he has to deal with being stranded on an entire planet and how the people back on Earth, NASA, are scrambling to figure out just how to bring their astronaut home. While many viewers may find hard science films, such as the Martian, to be a bit off putting the movie is able to explain it all in an understandable and surprisingly humorous manner. The movie has incredible visuals as well, the planet of Mars is portrayed in a stunning and breathtaking manner, however it still manages to keep it realistic.
The main character is without a doubt the most optimistic and cheerful person you’d ever meet on Mars. Watney faces some truly disastrous problems and it often shows. Very often you can see cracks in his psyche as the reality of being alone and the possibility of him dying confronts him. The movie manages to create these moments of tension and suspense beautifully, however Watney is always able to find the positive parts in his situation. While he does recognize how ridiculous the chances of him surviving are, he simply refuses to give in and he gives the metaphorical finger to the red planet. The supporting cast is played very well, with characters such as the heads of NASA and Watney’s fellow astronauts being portrayed in a realistic yet still entertaining way.
That’s not to say that the movie is totally flawless. While the science of the movie is very realistic, such things like the storm that strands Watney in the first place is almost outright impossible due to Mar’s very weak atmosphere. The movie runs a bit too long as well, coming in at about two hours and thirty minutes. However, overall the Martian is an extremely enjoyable experience that was hilarious and exciting all at once.