It is a fine tradition here at Gabbing Geek to write up multiple reviews for the same movie as different contributors get to see it.
So, just as Ryan and Jenny shared their own thoughts, here are mine for The Martian.
Possible SPOILERS after the cut, though some of them will be based on my experience with the movie since I saw it in 3-D. I wasn’t intending to see it in 3-D, but was handed the pair of glasses when I got to the front of the line to turn in my ticket.
Based off Andy Weir’s fun page-turner of a novel, The Martian opens with a bit of thrilling adventure as Matt Damon’s Mark Watney is presumed dead when the rest of his crewmates have to abandon Mars following a freak dust storm. At the end of the movie, when the rescue takes place, the rescue everyone knows is coming, there’s a bit of tension, but…really, those were the only scenes where having the movie in 3-D makes sense.
See, I went to the local movie house, thinking I’d see the 6:00 show, but the automatic ticket machine told me it was 3-D, so I opted for the Regel Deluxe Showing, or whatever they called it, at 6:30. That was also 3-D. I did not realize that at the time, and the regular 2-D showing wasn’t until 8 or so, which kinda hacked me off.
On the plus side, the theater wasn’t exactly packed. It shouldn’t have been. The Martian is, above all, a story of a guy sciencing away to stay alive. And yes, I just used “science” as a verb. It’s OK. So did the movie. That’s not something that requires 3-D. I mean, sure, Jenny probably appreciated when Damon cut his own shirt off in the first few minutes, and seeing that in 3-D might work for the straight female and gay male audience, but that’s not important right now. Did we need to see Jeff Daniels in 3-D giving a press conference? Truth be told, I barely noticed the 3-D. It was unnecessary.
So, how was the movie itself? Well, I thought the book a bit better, truth be told, because Watney’s sense of humor translated better in my mind. Damon’s delivery was a lot more somber and pessimistic in a sense then I would have done it.
But really, Damon was a great choice to make the lead. Really, the movie needs a charismatic everyman, and Damon can do that. Really, how can you not see how people would put out that much effort to rescue one guy when the one guy is Matt Damon? You think they’d do that for Nicholas Cage? I’m not even sure they’d do that for Ben Affleck.
I do wish they’d included more of Weir’s explanations for how Watney did stuff, or some of the additional challenges and set-backs from the novel. I understand why they didn’t. The former could be dull, and the latter unnecessary. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish it was there.
Oh, and the epilogue, added for the film…nice touch.
I’m gonna give this sucker 9 out of 10 meters per second.