Here’s the problem with the Martian: if you’re trapped and isolated in an inhospitable place afar, staying alive is only half the battle. The biggest problem is, assuming you do anything to rescue, stay sane. Not as easy as it sounds: Sandra Bullock convinced herself it was a good idea to reduce the oxygen pressure; Tom Hanks became the best friend of a piece of product placement, and Matt Damon showed himself to be “the best of us” was not a guarantee of mental safety when left alone with their own thought.
The trick for him, and so every movie on this subject seems to forget, is jovial. Deep philosophical questions are fine, but to overcome insurmountable odds crushing loneliness and a strong, self-deprecating sense of humor is the best way to go.
1. The Plot
The Martian is very refreshing; it is a surprisingly funny film with all its trappings, a sci-fi thriller.
Matt Damon Marcos Watney is stranded on Mars after its dead crew created it during an emergency evacuation – a pretty horrible situation no matter how you look – and yet cannot even make it through a video recording in his new situation without crack wise.
Throughout its isolation, either for himself or when shooting diary entries, which has riffs on their situation of life or death to the point where there are more laughs here than most comedies (sciencing the shit out of it is just the beginning).
But it’s hard to say you would not do the same thing – this is a man on the edge, and pretending relations comedy is the only way to ensure that it will still be when / if the rescue comes. You can take their silence and empty your accounts carefully prepared – which is the real precision.
Not that The Martian is not put in the science department. It is as accurate (as inaccurate and points) as the science fiction movies of Gravity and interstellar last autumn; It is not equally concerned to flaunt it. What Ridley Scott really cares about is telling a great story.
2. The Storyline
And what a story. This is not just Castaway on Mars or Matt Damon Interstellar Cameo: or Apollo 13 on a larger scale or gravity with a third of Earth’s gravity or whatever witty description you have worked with before (my Interstellar favorite). It could be described as all that, no doubt, but each poster quote tells only part of the picture.
This is a story of three levels, with Mark trying to survive on Mars, the crew of their excess mission speed through more and more of their missing member’s space and NASA is a dead astronaut suddenly coming back to life. And while Damon gets part of Thark approach, the whole cast gets their own interesting arcs.
It is a truly expansive narrative; each thread is crossed intricately dependent and accumulates until you reach the edge headquarters, sweaty palms, holding a breath-tense final half-hour.
That skill where others often is not a little strange because if there are one area Slips, Mars is present over time. The Martian covers a period of about three years, still cannot get enough of you feel the other side, hoping once a month that, although marked by timestamps, very sudden. Consequently, several subplots and sequences (especially those in space/on the ground) are slightly malnourished or at least come across as lacking key connective scenes.
That does not really matter outside of a couple of characters, side-lining, though, because the Martian is fully materialized, Mars itself. Given enough time to be Matt Damon Robinson Crusoe, to be not as an independent scientist to do with the common good, but a real human being in a totally unreal situation, in the process of securing Marcos Watney be a name you will remember for years to see.
This is due to many factors – his methodical approach to disaster, the portrait of pain of despair, the constant acceptance of fate – but by far, the largest is, yes, humor.
The Martian is a science fiction foot on Earth that is funny with a purpose and understands the character as much as it does to build tension. Ridley Scott has not made his third masterpiece of science fiction work, but boy has been close.