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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review – Ridley Scott’s The Martian has natural energy, humor

By Jamil Oakford/ managing editor

Following the only man on Mars isn’t as boring as it initially sounds.

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut in The Martian. After being left for dead, Watney struggles to reconnect with NASA while his crew plans a rescue.Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox
Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut in The Martian. After being left for dead, Watney struggles to reconnect with NASA while his crew plans a rescue.
Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

In fact, it’s far more interesting and amusing than the trailer suggests.

The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott, strikes another harmonious chord. Unlike many of his movies, this film stands alone from his usual body of work in a good way.

The movie begins on Mars with a crew of NASA astronauts and scientists collecting data.

When a storm arrives earlier than forecast, it forces the team to pack up its gear and head back to its capsule.

It’s in this moment that Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is hit with a satellite due to gusting winds and is left for dead after a failed search to find him.

Easily, this movie could have slipped into a tone laced with despair and “woe is me.” Instead, Watney gets to work patching himself up and figuring out how to survive long enough to make contact with NASA.

That’s the strength of this movie. When things look their worst, Watney figures out how to science his way out.

It keeps the audience engaged with his story without making them feel overwhelmed and hopeless before the climax.

The other half of this film is spent with NASA as it deals with the loss of its astronaut.

The cast carries this film well. With Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain and Oscar-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor, the movie is filled with what feels like natural energy.

The surprise is Kristen Wiig’s dramatic performance. It’s unlike many roles she’s taken, but she carried her role and held her own in a movie packed with actors experienced in dramatic roles.

And have no fear, all the science mentioned in this movie is explained thoroughly but succinctly.

The film doesn’t waste much time on lofty theories, and nothing discussed is too far out of the viewer’s grasp.

The Martian is the space movie for people who found Interstellar too long and lacked a doctorate in astrophysics and those who thought Gravity was oppressively intense.

There’s tension, but The Martian finds the dry humor of those moments.

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