While some of us are anxiously counting the days to the release date of the Prometheus sequel (which is FYI announced for the year 2017 with an official title Alien: Covenant), the good guy Ridley Scott is keeping himself busy promoting his latest creation – the astonishingly successful motion picture which you’ve probably heard about in the past month or two: The Martian.
We will get to the review in a minute, but I have to emphasize how aggravated I felt when I found out that I will have to wait for two more years to watch Michael Fassbender revisiting the ingenious role of David, the utterly ambiguous android. I mean damn it Ridley, I watched Prometheus back in 2012 and I’ve followed your every single interview and public announcement hoping to hear some news about the sequel. When I read the rumors that you’re filming yet another sci-fi flick set somewhere in space my initial thought was: Well, this sob better comes back with some explanations for all those loose ends he left behind in Prometheus. And what did you do Ridley? You hired Matt Damon and that redhead chick from Zero Dark Thirty to film three hours of some bs drama about not so distant future travels to Mars. Or was it a comedy, I’m not sure. But let’s sink our teeth into this latest creation of yours and break it down for our readers.
First of all let’s categorize this movie properly. This creation is one of those movies filmed for bored couples that have nothing better to do on Saturday night but to go to the movies and munch down on extra large popcorns and three bags of nachos with cheese and hot salsa dip. I should know, I insisted on the hot salsa. And don’t judge me, I already mentioned that this movie is almost three hours long. So yeah, this is almost a chick-flick but not entirely, it does have some pretty serious shots of space that will leave you stunned if watched on big screen.
I have to admit that I felt a little bit peeved at Ridley and approached The Martian ready to bitch about it the entire time and let everyone around me know how wrong it is to cast Matt Damon for a sci-fi flick. However, I have to give credit to the wonder boy (get it?) and admit that he did a pretty good job. Maybe he wasn’t as good as the rest of the cast was bad in comparison but I have to give credit to the guy – Matt Damon and shots of Mars made this movie decent.
Now comes the part where I have to say spoiler alert. Apparently you still have to say that.
Major Spoiler Alert
Let’s break down the plot real quick: A group of astronauts is on a mission on Mars, one of them falls behind so the others leave without him, they feel bad on their way home and eventually return to pick him up, they take him home after a few minor glitches, the end. That’s about it. Now let’s discuss the issues.
Apart from Matt, we had a chance to witness a series of unconvincing and underdeveloped characters portrayed by the surprisingly great cast performing equally surprisingly poor. Although I have to underline that it was hardly their fault. The script had some huge black holes in it, sucking all logic and reason along with my enthusiasm for this picture. The Dumb part of the Dumb and Dumber duo, Jeff Daniels, played the role of the coolest NASA director ever, who doesn’t mind at all when his employees disobey his strict orders and decide to hijack the entire spaceship and use Earth’s gravity as a slingshot to Mars (that’s the actual part of the plot). The good guy Jeff just gives the legendary Sean Bean the “oh you” look and continues to worry about public relations continuously till the very end.
By the way, did I forget to mention that Sean Bean is in this picture too? My bad. Although it felt like everyone else forgot to mention this fact as well. He literally hangs around for a great chunk of time, right there on the spot (he is one of the big shots at NASA of course) with a worried look on his face, shaking his head in disapproval as he sits through some important dialogs that he should undoubtedly be a part of. OK, I can’t say that it lasted more than five minutes total, but even five minutes were enough for someone in the theater to comment: Is that fu*”#$% Sean Bean?! Then someone yelled The Winter is Coming, and I was busy booing that person for a few minutes so I can’t vouch for the amount of time that this character was neglected but don’t you worry – they kept neglecting him for the entire movie afterwards as well. And not just him. We have a whole crew of astronauts with entirely underdeveloped background stories and vaguely defined attitudes and family members who appear in a one-shot cameo for a few seconds, just to give us an impression that they are actual human beings and not futuristic androids. Certainly when you are Ridley Scott you have to emphasize that all characters are actually of human origin I guess.
Let’s discuss that crew a little bit more. At the very beginning of the movie we had a chance to watch Matt Damon’s crew giving up on him after a three minute search. They simply decide that he is lost and they have to go ahead and head back to the Earth, proclaiming him dead. Not MIA, just bluntly dead. Once they find out that he is in fact not dead, the crew discusses whether they should head back to Mars and look for their fellow astronaut that they left behind. After a not-so-difficult discussion they all agree almost instantaneously that they should return to the Mars and spend additional 500 days traveling through the vast emptiness of the space to look for Matt Damon.
To sum it up – this movie could’ve ended at the very beginning. If only someone just yelled “Hey Matt, where you at?!” loud enough for a couple of times while they were all still on Mars, we wouldn’t have to sit through the entire drama of this crew of indistinguishable characters exchanging C category phrases as they vote on prolonging our misery and decide to head back to pick up their fallen friend.
So yeah, a series of illogical plot holes is my one and only problem with this movie. The music is awesome, Ridley did his part as expected, even boy wonder came through and delivered some pretty funny punch lines along the way which made this movie exceptionally awesome. I almost felt like he was in on the joke the entire time and the joke was on every other actor in that movie.
What else? Oh yeah – NASA sends out a rocket ship without testing it and destroys millions of dollars and what seems at the time the only hope to get Matt back to Earth, and the entire organization is actually a big joke and a never-ending party of individuals that couldn’t care less about authority. Matt Damon has an Iron Man reference and flies through space by piercing holes in his astronaut suit so that his fellow astronauts could catch him in mid-air and drag him back to the spaceship, and he doesn’t have a girlfriend. None, whatsoever, so no emotional/sad story in this plot. Which is an actual plus if you ask me.
I give this movie a solid 3.5 out of 5, just because it made me laugh and Ridley did his job right, as always. The script influenced my decision entirely but I do recommend you to bring your SO to the movies and watch Matt going crazy as he insists from his colleagues to call him Captain Blonde-beard.
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