Ridley Scott has finally made another great movie! For me I haven’t enjoyed one of his movies much since Black Hawk Down which was a long time ago now (2001 to be exact). With The Martian he has returned to his best, giving us a movie that is tense, funny, and keeps you interested all the way through its 2 hour and 20 minute run time.
This is the first movie I have seen this year that i feel has a real chance of being mentioned when the award season comes round, and Black Mass, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight and the rest of the contenders have a lot to compete with in this brilliantly put together movie.
Mars is Beautiful
The first thing to say about this film is that it looks incredible. I don’t know where they shot the film, or it if is all green screen and effects, but you genuinely feel like you’re looking at scenes shot on the red planet itself. The attention to detail is easy to overlook, but some of the shots of Matt Damon driving around in the rover on mars are breathtaking at times.
The aforementioned Matt Damon gives a phenomenal performance as Mark Watney, the astronaut left behind when his team, including Jessica Chastain (Interstellar), Michael Pena (Ant-Man) and Sebastian Stan (Captain America Winter Soldier), are forced to leave without him when the believe he is killed during a storm that forces them off the planet.
The role he plays is so vital to the movie working, and he delivers a performance that makes you sympathise with him, and you find yourself cheering for him and wanting him to get through the challenges he faces. The character’s ability to find humour in the face of his ridiculous situation is refreshing, and the use of the dairy style webcam video’s was a genius stroke.
Chiwitel Ejiofor is brilliant in his role, as he always seems to be, and I can’t wait to see him in more films off the back of 12 years a slave. However he is not the standout supporting actor for me in this. Jeff Daniels is a real surprise in this movie. He has never fully convinced me as a serious actor before, but his character who could have easily become a “Bad guy” type character. However he comes across as a man who is stuck between doing the right thing for NASA and doing the right thing for the man stuck on Mars.
Matt Damon might be in for a Best Leading Actor Nomination at the Oscars, and I think there’s a chance Jeff Daniels might get a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It is early in the year for talking about oscar nom’s, with so much to come still, but this is a great benchmark to start with this year.
There is not a lot this movie does wrong. It is so well put together, from the script, the direction, the performances, and the pacing. There is a few scenes in the film I could have done without, and Donald Glovers character is a little bit of a weird one as he seems to come out of nowhere. The only other criticism i have is that it felt a little predictable in the end, but the journey from the start to the end point is unpredictable and keeps you guessing how things will reach the conclusion.
I loved this movie, and its great to see Ridley Scott returning to form like this. The Martian is the best movie of the year so far. That isn’t to say it is for everyone, it is the story of one man trying to survive on his own on a planet with nothing on it, and I wouldn’t say it is a family movie as it would probably be quite slow and dull for kids.
The Martian is….Out of this world. (I had to do it, sorry).
9.5/10 – Ridley Scott’s return to form, and Matt… Damon….