Film Review: The Martian

There were, shall we say, divergent views on the topic of the Martian within our household. In order to fairly represent them, this review will take the form of a Socratic dialogue between two completely hypothetical people, who we will call E and S.

S: So I thought there was a lot to like here, but also some substantial problems. The movie’s greatest strength was probably the likeable banter of the protagonist Mark, an impressive feat from Matt Damon as it’s a solo act for most of the time. A lot of the pleasure of the movie comes from hearing his reactions to the problems he encounters as he–

E: Fixes things! On Mars!

S: Yup. I guess my main issues were to do with the fact that the narrative was distributed over quite a large number of scenes, and there could be a substantial time break from scene to scene. If you have a ten minute scene and then three months offscreen and then another ten minute scene, it’s easy for it to come across as rather disjointed.

E: He digs up the rover and makes it work. Who doesn’t like rovers?

S: The rover was pretty cute.

E: And then he fixes everything and communicates using hexadecimal.

S: Which was great, but I also thought that when the Chinese space agency became involved the whole thing was introduced and resolved too soon. It felt rushed to me. This seems to be a common issue for books that are adapted to movies.

E: He grows potatoes and then he eats the potatoes. And then the potato lab blew up, which was sad.

S: On that subject, why did they send a botanist to Mars in the first place? I’m pretty sure that an engineer would have known how to fertilise crops. It seemed a very weird speciality to pick on.

E: I like potatoes.

S: Anyway, I suspect that I would like the book more than the movie, and I am quite tempted to read it. Though I suspect that your level of enjoyment depends on how exciting you find it when he–


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7 Responses to Film Review: The Martian

  1. I concur with E, and I think, based on the reviews, the film is very, very close to the book. For me, i like the way they did the narrative, I also liked the effect they showed on Matt Damon. I liked the way they portrayed everyone and I loved that Jeff Bridges wanted to be codenamed Glorfindel!


    • sjrosenstein says:

      It seemed to be targeted to a certain type of engineering/science enthusiast with the same deadly precision that Twilight was aimed at teenage girls. I think perhaps I’m missing that gene. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy it (I did!) but it didn’t have quite the same catnip-like effect that I’ve seen it have on others.


  2. mountain king says:

    i liek marshians (but if their green lol) and i liek potatoes but they groe in thar aer ans their si no aer on teh mARs?


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