Movie Review: “The Martian”

Ashley Hopkins  

This week’s movie for sci-fi movie night was “The Martian”. The movie follows Mark Watney (Matt Damon), an astronaut who gets left behind on Mars after being presumed dead in a severe storm. When he knows that he’s been left behind, he realizes that he has to act quickly and think outside the box to stay alive. Using limited resources and lots of trial and error, Watney triumphs to stay alive alone on Mars.  

Something that I really liked about the movie was the vlogs Watney took of himself. I thought that this was a very human thing to do, and something that felt so familiar to our culture of watching YouTube vlogs and other videos of that sort. We were also able to get a better idea of how Watney was feeling and see his emotions as if we were watching him on a YouTube video or something. Watney talking to his vlog emphasized the fact that humans need human connection. Even though he wasn’t talking to a real person, it was something to talk to and a way to get how he was feeling out. I think that one of the hardest parts of this journey for Watney was the isolation. Especially when things didn’t work out, having no one to lean on was really difficult. This element of the movie really showed the importance of human connection, which I think we see time and time again as something that is so crucial to human beings.  

The graphics and sound throughout the movie were phenomenal. They looked extremely realistic, and were really beautiful interpretations of what those environments would be like. Sound is something in movies that we don’t realize is so crucial, and can really make-or-break a movie. I think the use of sound really brought the viewer into the movie and encapsulated them in that world. The two of these elements together kept me engaged throughout the entirety of the movie, which is two hours and 24 minutes long.  

As for the cast, I think they did a great job at carefully crafting characters that viewers loved, and also those that viewers hate. Sometimes in these types of movies, the main character can make really frustrating decisions, which then leads to audience members not liking the protagonist. I think Matt Damon was a perfect choice for the protagonist of “The Martian”. Not only did he create a character that viewers were able to root for, he also created a character that we were able to relate to and empathize with. When something didn’t go right, we personally felt upset or frustrated. It was like we were working alongside him to stay alive in space.  

While the movie is a little long, I think they made good use of the time. There weren’t many– if any– points where I started to space-out (no pun intended) or got restless. The plot itself is very entertaining, and you go on a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the movie. Even if sci-fi isn’t your thing, I think that you would enjoy the movie!  

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