THE MARTIAN, Film Review

Today I went to Hoyts Tea Tree Plaza Cinemas to see The Martian, the latest Hollywood Sci-Fi blockbuster from director Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon in the title role. And it’s another film based on a recent book (often the case these days), this time by author Andy Weir.

martianMost of you will have at least seen some of the advertising for this film by now, which reveals the plot of the film. A manned mission to Mars goes horribly wrong, and one of the astronauts is left behind, presumed dead after a massive storm. Of course, he is not only not dead, but very much alive, and then the film focuses on his survival and possible rescue.

A fantastic storyline, and very, very well executed. The cinematography is excellent – in several scenes you can only imagine that this must be what Mars really looks like (based on all the photos and images that have been beamed back from the Red Planet since the 1970s). If Ridley Scott used a place on Earth to film these scenes on Mars (instead of just using mostly CGI), then he’s done an amazing job.

martian1Director Scott shows once again he is at the very top of his game, and proves himself to be the pre-eminent Sci-Fi director of our time, and one of the best directors period in the last 40 years. The supporting cast is brilliant and in great form, with fantastic performances from Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor (most famous for his lead role in “12 Years A Slave”), a nicely understated Kristen Wiig and a host of lesser lights (Bonus: Sean Bean doesn’t actually die in this movie!). Matt Damon….. Ahhh Matt Damon. For so long the butt of many a Hollywood in-joke. But he is and always has been a very good actor in my opinion. It’s a little hard to judge how good his performance really is. I thought he was brilliant. But given 95% of his scenes were performed with no-one else on camera it may possibly be hard to judge how brilliant he actually was.

This film was outstanding. It has multiple Oscars awaiting it – which ones, I’m not sure (I’m going to have a crack and say Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay, and at least nominations for Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor – but given Tom Hanks didn’t win for a similar effort in “Castaway”, I’m not 100% sure about Damon’s chances – and Best Picture).

I loved it. I was entertained and engaged (for the whole 2hrs and 20 mins!). Believe the hype. Go see it.

5 stars!

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David Emms is an electronic engineer, a father, and an avid movie goer.

He lives in Adelaide.