Oh “The Martian,” how overrated you are. Based on the 2011 science fiction novel of the same name by Andy Weir, you are essentially “Hatchet” in space. Your premise is pretty basic: an astronaut gets stranded on the planet Mars. Matt Damon (no, not Matt “Please watch ‘Fargo,’ only on FX” Damon) portrays NASA astronaut Mark Whatley, the lead character throughout the film. Imitating Sandra Bullock in 2013’s “Gravity,” Whatley gets stranded in space after an accident aboard his ship. I hate Matt Damon because he’s the boring generic white male lead, so let’s talk about the other characters!
Drew An Brubaker – wait no, I mean Jessica Chastain (is that Bryce Dallas Howard coughing in the distance? It seems we have come full circle with these reviews…) portrays Melissa Lewis, the commander of the ship. Joining her are SNL-alum Kristen Wiig as a NASA spokesperson (a drastic change from her regular comedic roles) and Jeff Daniels as the NASA boss. In supporting roles, we have the always bland and forgettable Kate Mara, the daughter of Timothy Christopher Mara, a famous NFL scout. Before you ask, yes, nepotism. She also used to date and subsequently broke the hearts of precious Charlie Cox, (who you can see on Netflix’s “Daredevil”), a not-dead-for-once Sean Bean, everyone’s favorite brainwashed soldier Sebastian Stan, and Chiwetel Ejiofor (I still mourn the loss of his Oscar to stupid McConaughey).
The very British Ridley Scott directs the film (who is also responsible for one of my favorite films ever, “Thelma & Louise,” as well as the “Alien” franchise), who never fails to deliver with pretty landscapes and cinematography. Think a nature documentary, but in spaaaace!!!!
The film’s score is surprisingly good as well, and will not make your ears bleed like the trailer for “Prometheus” did. The film soundtrack incorporates elements of disco, with hits by Vicki Sue Robinson, Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summer, making it similar to last year’s “Guardians of The Galaxy” soundtrack, “Cherry Bomb” not included (Chris Pratt, I love you xoxo). Also, keep your eyes peeled for a very clever nod to “The Lord of The Rings.”
After the film’s release, many clueless people were tweeting about how they believed the film to be a true story. I laugh at their stupidity because I have no soul. For the record, this film is not based off of a true story. (FYI, humans have never set foot on Mars.) Tori Hoff and I have both sat a few feet away from Julianne Moore, which is a true story. But no, this is a work of fiction. I hate myself for actually enjoying this film simply because it kept me on the edge of my seat. Seriously though, can we get Nicole Kidman lost on Venus next time? I would pay to see if her accent slips in the process.