I’ve had the distinct pleasure of seeing The Martian twice now. I was going to initially throw up a blurb after seeing it once but I decided that seeing it again might serve to give me more insight into things. I’d like to start first by saying how much I genuinely loved the film. Uniquely, the second time I saw the film was as good as the first. I was able to focus on some more fine details that I might have missed the first time around. I can’t say that a lot of movies are as enjoyable the second time through. Hell, most movies shouldn’t be watched the first time.
On top of the film being enjoyable after multiple watches, I really enjoyed that the film isn’t negative. Does the cast come up against obstacles? I would hope so. Any movie without that would fall flat every single time. There are a few hurdles that need to be tackled by the main character as well as those in space as well as on Earth. I think how those obstacles are portrayed and subsequently dealt with is really why this movie succeeds for me. With a person being left on a foreign planet, one can envision a negative and depressing turn being taken. Such is not the case here as the all the characters simply push on. It’s personified by the main character stating “I won’t die here”.
There are a lot of funny lines in the movie. Furthermore, there are a few funny situations as well. You’d think a science fiction movie about a guy being stranded millions of miles away might veer away from this, but The Martian keeps humor throughout the entire film. From beginning to end, there are laughs. Michael Peña has some great lines. Matt Damon keeps his character upbeat and fun throughout. I really like that “fuck” was used repeatedly but not actually said once.
Mars was spectacular. There isn’t a lot that needs to go into the creation of a red planet covered in dust sand but what was done for The Martian was really great. I felt that it could have been filmed on a distant planet and that’s really exciting. Directly related to the effects and filming, I saw the film once in 3D and have to say that I didn’t hate it. I usually chagrin wearing a second pair of glasses over my current pair because it’s annoying and I don’t feel the added “effects” pull their weight. I saw the movie in regular 2D the second time and didn’t feel that I was gaining or losing anything by the lost dimension. The space scenes were great, the rocket launches were great, and really I’m gushing over everything at this point.
I have one final thing to say about The Martian. I don’t know if too many people picked up on this but I thought it was really an interesting direction for the movie to take by not the main character a significant other. I assume the filmmakers opted away from this because screen time would need to be dedicated to the crying, the longing, the long stares into the distance. Rather than any of that, it was left up to Matt Damon to simply send a written message to one of his crewmates requesting that his parents be told that he was serving a bigger mission and that he loved them both. It was a great scene and didn’t take away from the focus on the main character struggling with being alone.
I have to say that The Martian is one of the better movies I’ve seen in a long time. Coming at a time when there have been some pretty exciting movies about space, space travel, and the future all while trying to stay grounded in a potential reality, I think The Martian is my favorite of the bunch. Where Gravity was far more stressful, fearful, and had a metric fuckton of camera spinning, The Martian stayed positive. Where Interstellar chose the potential dread of a dystopian future, The Martian stayed positive. It was really great to enjoy a movie that just made me feel good. I loved everything about it and look forward to watching it again.