Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Eddy Ko, Chen Shu, Naomi Scott, Nick Mohammed
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring "the Martian" home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission.
Following the uproar that has accompanied "Gravity" and "Interstellar" in the past years, Ridley Scott too rides the trend of the sci-fi film set in space. And although he doesn't reach neither the level of Cuarón nor that of Nolan, he is finally back on track with a film that deserves to be watched and overshadows his latest works.
Fascinating, and entertaining, The Martian is a sci-fi film that blends humour and emotions within its dramatic plot of survival and benefits from Matt Damon's performance.
Big credits go to Scott that managed to make interesting and engaging a story that could have easily bored. Also crucial is the decision to give more importance to human life and its preservation than science fiction, and the film moves on a double track on this: on the one hand a man doing his best to survive; on the other hand a group of scientists trying to bring him home.
Based on novelist and software engineer Andy Weir's novel "The Martian", the screenplay perhaps does not sprinkle originality -- "Cast Away on Mars" could have been the title for this --, but it is surprisingly funny, especially coming from "Daredevil" creator Drew Goddard. The film is hilarious in some parts - funnier than most comedies of the past year -, and what makes the film special is Watney's optimist point of view... and sense of humour of course.
And now the bad. The dialogue isn't brilliant, and a ton of scientifically accurate or inaccurate things are said I was like "in English?". The character development is pretty poor. Also, unfortunately for the film, its special effects are overshadowed by the spectacle of "Gravity" and the beauty of "Interstellar".
Although Mark Watney did not like his commander's disco music playlist, I really loved the soundtrack that includes great names from the music industry like Gloria Gaynor, David Bowie and the ABBA.
Once again in the need to be rescued, Matt Damon probably gives his best performance, charismatic as usual, in the role of astronaut Mark Watney. Maybe he should have lost more weight for a role where he is supposed to nearly starve to death, but okay. The rest of the cast provides a good support.