Finally! A beautifully put together sci-fi movie that’s visually pleasing, has a killer soundtrack, makes you laugh, makes you cry and has you on the edge of your seat. This movie has everything!
When I heard about this movie my first thought was, Matt Damon needs to be saved again!?! Second thought, Is Ridley Scott still able to make good movies? And lastly, Just what the world needs, another Interstellar/Gravity type movie! But, you should never judge a movie by its poster.
The movie starts on Mars and soon enough space does its unpredictable thing and forces the astronauts to abort their mission and head back to earth, leaving a presumed dead Mark Watney (Matt Damon) behind. The next two hours are full of pure nerdy intelligent thinking that, for someone like me who knows nothing about space and would probably die after day one of being left on Mars, is absolutely fascinating and makes science seem pretty cool. This is one of Ridley Scott’s best! I was captivated right from the get go.
A fear of mine for this movie was that the rescue mission was going to be an outrageous and unbelievable success that portrays America as the best goddamn country in the universe! Luckily Scott accounts for the fact that not everything goes according to plan and although it is heartbreaking to watch Watney suffer and everyone almost lose hope, that’s life!
I am so glad that Mark Watney was the character to be left behind. He is quirky, entertaining, wildly intelligent and thankfully keeps a video log explaining the science behind everything he does. Damon gives an excellent performance making Watney relatable. I genuinely felt so bad for him when he ran out of ketchup!
An honourable mention goes to Donald Glover as Rich Purnell an astro-dynamicist at NASA. Although his role is small in screen time, Glover is memorable and gives the scenes away from Damon comical.
The soundtrack is unforgettable! As for ABBA being played while a rover is trying to drive around Mars, there is nothing more entertaining. Disco music broke the tension, bringing humour and light to a crappy situation. It also brought another level of empathy for the audience towards Watney–imagine being stuck on Mars with only the same few songs to listen to over and over!
The effects were excellent and in a good way, didn’t stand out. Scott hasn’t relied on blowing the audience away with amazing special effects and forgotten that he needs a story line too *cough* Gravity *cough*. This is a game changer for sci-fi movies.
My rating: **** 4 stars