The Martian excelled at telling a gripping story with amazingly real characters, many intense edge of seat sequences all the way through and quite a bit of humour that also made the film surprisingly really funny. This film marks the return for legendary director Ridley Scott, who after a few misses has created yet another masterpiece that will go down as one of his best. Ridley Scott is known to be a master at making his films visually incredible and that is no different in this film, the wide shots in space are amazing and Mars looks so real that you wonder how they actually got to Mars to film this. This may just be the best space film to come out in the last few years, even though i loved Interstellar this may just be a step above and a little more polished. This film managed to still remain very smart whilst also dropping a lot of the complex science talk that weighted down Interstellar, making it very easy to follow (Yes i understand this film doesn’t have interstellar travel to worry about).
What was amazing is how they managed to tell a very smart and coherent story about one man spending many years on a deserted planet in 2 hours and 20 minutes without feeling like too much time was skipped. From start to finish you have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next, you are so engaged in what is happening right now that you don’t even think about what’s going to happen next and that is just an example of great storytelling. What i also thought was a great element in the film was that it was not only about one mans survival but also about the struggles of the people back on Earth who have to figure out a way to retrieve him. And this allowed for the film to constantly swap back and forth between the two locations allowing you to see how everyone reacts at each moment of the film. And it felt very natural unlike some of the transitions between Earth and space in Interstellar feeling rushed and unconnected.
When you have almost the entire film featuring one man on screen you must have an incredible talent who can capture the audience’s attention and keep them entertained the whole time. And Matt Damon manages to accomplish that so perfectly i can;t imagine anyone else doing a better job as astronaut Mark Watney. This is by far one of the best performances of his career and he has done a lot of amazing stuff in the past. He manages to carry the film on his shoulders with ease and was so fun to watch. He is such a world class talent to be able to portray this fictional character in a way that made me at many times think that i was watching some kind of true story, he captured all of the emotion and struggles this guy was going through so well, and just added layers to his character. Not only was this a serious and at times emotional film but it was also hilarious and much of those comedic elements came from Matt Damon. The quick one liners all hit and made the entire full theatre laugh every time.
But he did not do it alone, Damon was accompanied by one of the most incredibly talented supporting casts of the year and they only add to the enjoyment of the film. Heres some of the supporting cast to give you an idea; Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Kate Mara…. WOW thats big. And even more impressive is that every character seemed useful and wasn’t just thrown in there for a meaningless cameo, they all had an important part to play at some point in the film and they all deliver on their performances. They add to the story, the emotion, the humour and were all great additions to the film. And seeing Kate Mara act in this film confirms to me that she was not part of the problems that sunk Fant4stic.
And i thought space could not get any more intense than it did in Gravity and Interstellar. But this film delivers on a level above those films, there were countless moments where i was frozen still due to the anticipation of what may happen next, featuring sweaty palms and all that. And these moments weren’t just quick 3 minutes of intense dramatic action, it had me stunned for like at least 15 minutes at a time multiple times and had me in awe, holding my breath, and on the edge of my seat…… it was truly amazing.
So in the end this was a very smart, humorous, intense and entertaining adventure full of insane dramatic action, and emotion. Great characters, a compelling adapted script and beautiful shots makes this another masterpiece in the space film genre. – 9.2/10
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