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Friday, October 9, 2015

The Martian

Let’s go save Matt Damon again.

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead and left on Mars after a storm sent his crew back to Earth. Once Watney discovers he’s alone, the story becomes a deserted planet version of Cast Away.

This is not one of Ridley Scott’s great movies. But it’s not Prometheus either.

The Martian is a faithful retelling of the bestselling book and it delivers a mildly fun night at the movies. It doesn’t hit the spiritual beauty of Gravity, but it doesn’t land in the congested world of Interstellar either. It’s somewhere in between.

For example, while scientific plot points unfold, the characters say things like “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this” and “we ran the numbers and it checks out.” It was a wise choice for a crowd pleaser. This film is surprisingly light-hearted and Damon pulls off most of the subtle comedic bits — but misses when they go too far. When a scene calls for reactions to disco music, you wish Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) was the hero singing along.

If you’re wondering why I keep comparing this film to other space movies, it’s probably because I kept wanting more out of this film given the hype it has received. It’s an average film and a not-so-stellar option in the fall when better movies are available.

Simply put: Not bad. Not out of this world either.

Award potential: Maybe some nominations for FX. If this slides into the comedy category for the Golden Globes, they might nominate Damon so he’ll attend the TV show.

The ten buck review: Consider buying the book instead.

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