The Martian movie full length review - Definitely...Dare I say? Anti-Nolanesque
You know how I said that blockbusters are one-note, generic and have no personality whatsoever?
Luckily, legendary director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Drew Goddard said "Forget this formula!" and decided to adapt a nerdy sci-fi novel to the big screen. And what do I think of it?
I LOVE IT! Wanna know why? Well, let's focus on the story first.
While on a manned mission to Mars, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) and a crew of astronauts decided to abandon mission when a storm happens. However, Watney gets hit by a satellite. Because of the storm and the lack of time, they immediately decide to leave Mars, believing that Watney is dead. But surprise surprise, he's actually alive and well. You see, he actually knocked out cold and part of the satellite damaged his bio-monitor (which actually explains why the crew couldn't find him, aside from the storm). Left alone on Mars, he decides that he's not gonna die and solves problems in order to survive.
However on Earth, a bunch of images cause NASA to realise, "Uh-oh, we messed up!" and do everything in their power to help him. The result is a 2 hr 20 min adventure full of suspense, problem-solving and laughs that will even make a robot interested.
Now why do I adore this movie? Well, there are lots, but I'll just put out my main reasons.
1. Mark Watney. Like characters such as Andy DuFresne, Barry Egan and Michael Sullivan, Watney is one of my favourite characters of all time. In fact, the whole film will basically be nothing without him. The reason why I like him so much is because that he's a character who actually DOES something other than look pretty. He grows potatoes in poop and Martian soil, He uses duck tape to fix both his helmet and a broken door, and travels in a rover for days to search what he is looking for. He solves problems. He has a sense of humour. He feels like he's having FUN in space. He doesn't mope around mourning about the fact that he is trapped in Mars. Hell, the only thing that is sort of torturing him is God awful disco music. He's everything a great character should be. In an era where a main character does nothing but look good and does nothing else, Watney is the like the rebuttal of all bland main characters today. He is such a great character, I could talk for days about why I love him so much.
2. The supporting cast. Again, They actually do something aside from looking good. You got actors like Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Donald Glover and Chiwetel Ejiofor. They all could have been underused in a regular blockbuster. But the screenplay has so much energy, it gives the cast something to do. They sit down, talk, debate about their plans, calculate on how Watney's gonna survive, tell sarcastic jokes, etc. You get the feeling these are people that are just doing their job instead of being bad guys. That's MUCH more interesting than just the same aul tripe we get in regular blockbusters. That is something I want. A film that focuses more on character and story than just blowing stuff up. I would stop there, but there's a lot more good in this movie
3. The screenplay and direction. It has personality. Again, that's something I want in a movie! The screenplay is part-comedy, part-drama, part sci-fi, part sci-fact, all nerdy to a degree. Drew Goddard wrote the sh*t out of this. Although it's adapted from a novel, Goddard has written something sharp, focused (even if it lasted for 2 hours and 21 minutes) and cooked perfectly to a degree and Ridley Scott only made it even better. Not only does he have a knack for visuals (which are good as always), but Scott also gives out the best performances from his actors. It feels like the actors truly give a damn about the script. This is one of those movies where even the subplots are the best parts.
4. The score. My god, the score is amazing! It doesn't attempt to sound Zimmer- like. Instead it sounds heroic, beautiful, powerful and memorable to a degree. Harry Gregson-Williams created a score that sounds like a Boards of Canada album got eaten up by a Jonny Greenwood composition and surprisingly it works.
Overall, the Martian is a great movie. It has everything I ever wanted in a movie released in today's Nolan-ridden era. It's definitely an anti-Nolan movie. It's fun. It has consistency. The characters aren't mopey. It's very nerdy. It wastes NO time and goes straight to the point even at 2 hours and 21 minutes. Hands down, it's not only one of the best of 2015, but also one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made. It's Ridley Scott's best film since Blade Runner and a comeback that is definitely worth the wait.
The best part? The whole film is even funnier than the revenge after 400 years bit from Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Simply put, if you're tired of all the dark, gritty and absolutely bland blockbusters, SEE THE MARTIAN ALREADY! It's out now! I saw it two times already! What are you waiting for? Go already! Skip school to see this! Skip work to see this! Don't even bother downloading it! Get your a** to mars already! This one that you must see in the cinema and trust me, it's a rewarding experience. ;)