Movie Review: The Martian

‘The Martian’ is the latest Ridley Scott scifi film to hit cinemas.

It’s certainly a big budget blockbuster in characteristic Scott-style – yet unlike his newer scifi thrillers ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Exodus’, it takes more of a straightforward, less ‘dressed up’ approach.

 

‘Prometheus’ was a thrilling adventure film with a dose of horror throw in for good measure.

 

On the other hand, ‘Exodus: Gods & Kings’ was all bold sets and big scenes – reminiscent of the old biblical films that I grew up on.

 

Matt Damon shines as stranded astronaut, Mark Watney, who’s painstaking and methodical survival through extreme conditions on Mars is balanced with a good dose of humour.

 

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The movie was filmed on a series of 20 sets built on a massive sound stage in Budapest, with outdoor scenes shot in the UNESCO heritage protected desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan.

 

Supported by a strong cast of Sean Bean, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Pena – there’s dramatic tension but a noticeable lack of any real villain – again, a departure from Scott’s usual approach.

 

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The storytelling (Drew Goddard) is laced with wit, energy and smarts as the world’s finest face unsolvable problems to bring Watney home.

 

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The film has a longer running time, but it’s pacing, plot and performances kept my wholehearted attention right until the end.

 

It’s not Mr Scott’s usual nail-biting thriller, but nonetheless a solid, beautifully filmed science fiction film and well worth seeing.

 

 

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