The Martian Has Sol

The day after watching The Martian I had a massive hankering for potatoes. I wrote on Facebook “went to see The Martian yesterday. Today I have a hankering for potatoes.” I got a reply saying “I’ve never been so emotional about potatoes before.” I don’t think that I have ever been so emotional about potatoes either. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, then you will have to watch The Martian. Man I could do with a nice potato… maybe with a small chunk of butter and some baked beans. Maybe even some sweet corn. Hmm, maybe I should get back on topic.

Firstly, the world which it is set in is realistic. I have to admit that is how I like my science fiction. I find it so hard getting my head around the science of aliens and flying police boxes. From the trailer I half expected the film to go all disaster snuff film. Ya know, he thinks he is all alone on Mars and then ba-bam! He gets attacked by a three legged monster with no face. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t go down this route. Okay, so if there aren’t any aliens, then what makes it really science fictiony? Well, the science! The film has rockets and mathematics (I am not selling it with the maths am I? Didn’t think so.)  I mean come on, it is set on Mars. Not to mention because there has not been a mission to Mars (yet) means that it is fiction. Science + fiction = science fiction. Oh look at me and my equations. For me, it was a very realistic science fiction movie. It was like watching a real life story unfold.

The film is even somewhat educational. I learnt a lot about Mars, Nasa, Rovers and about Pathfinder which landed on Mars in 1997. Although the film is set in the future where missions to Mars are the norm, all the science to get to Mars is being worked out now by Nasa. A lot of  folk say that my age group were born too late to explore the moon and were born too soon to explore space. This is so wrong because it is more than likely that in my life time, we, humankind, will reach Mars. The movie explores ways in which humans could survive on Mars and how long it would take to get there. The facts seem logical and I have to admit that I learned a lot from it.

Although the film is serious, protagonist Mark (Matt Damon) stays positive and offers comic relief. If I was stuck on Mars I would just cry, but then again I doubt that they would even let me go to Mars in the first place. An example of this is when he is explaining to the camera that he only has a certain amount of food left before he will run out and starve. Oh, I forgot to mention that he is eating while he moans about running out of food. This happens again at least twice more. The repetition of this makes it more humorous each time. I also found myself laughing at times which were actually quite depressing. The mixture of humor and action make it a twisty and turny roller coaster of a ride, just like that scary ride at Drayton Manor theme park.

Be right back. Just going to bake a jacket potato.

Considering the film is two hours and twenty-two minutes long a lot happens. Admittedly there are parts which are slow paced. But, I can’t be too harsh because after all, quite a lot of the movie is them talking about how to deal with the situation. For every issue solved there are about ten other things which need to be sorted. This conflict drives the story forward seamlessly. Since he is relying on technology so much, I even started to worry about technology failure in irrelevant parts. I can honestly say I was on the edge of my seat a majority of the time. I wanted to know what happened to him. I wanted closure. Either I wanted to see him return to earth or I wanted to know if he died. If it had abruptly ended without closure, it would have ruined the whole film. The Martian is an intense film.

Since Ridley Scott is so well known for science fiction, fans of his out there will have pretty high expectations of his movies so my review may turn out to be controversial. Personally, I loved it and I can’t think of anything which I didn’t like about it. It was an amazing film. Would I watch it again? I think so. Would I buy it on DVD? Maybe. Is it the best film which I have reviewed so far? Yes. One hundred times better than Fifty Shades of Grey.

1 star fell out of the sky and landed on Mars, the other nine are shining brightly in the sky though. I give The Martian nine out of ten stars.

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