Watched “The Martian” over the weekend. It was quite an enjoyable show. There were parts that were predictable, but that did not make the show any less enjoyable.
The show is set some time in the future, where we finally got around to sending manned missions to Mars. On one of those missions, the team was caught in an unexpectedly strong sandstorm and had to cut their mission short. In the process of evacuating, the character, Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) got injured. The whole team thought he had died and, because of the intensity of the storm, were forced to leave without recovering his body. But Mark did not die.
The film then follows how Mark fought for his own survival in the harsh Martian environment, the efforts to rescue him, the moral dilemmas that the decision makers had to face, and the emotional rollercoaster that came with each triumph and failure.
At 2 hours and 14 minutes, I felt that the length of the show was just right. It also had good pacing. There are enough events spaced in appropriate intervals that kept me interested, excited, and worried for the Mark Watney. There were also little moments of wittiness that made the audience laugh, which made this show lighter in mood than compared to, say, Interstellar. Also, the science of this was also easier to understand and follow compared to Interstellar.
While not much was done to developing the backgrounds of all the characters, enough was done to make me feel for the main characters – Mark and the rest of the team that were sent to Mars. It made me emotionally vested in the outcome of their mission.
The movie does follow a certain predictable flow. Just when you think that they have things sorted out, something bad happens. Then just when you think they got over that problem, something goes wrong again. And even without me telling you, you know how the movie is going to end. Also, the show has a number of clichés about overcoming adversity and staying positive.
That said, the movie was still enjoyable because it was able to establish an emotional connection between the characters and me. As the show progressed, I found myself really rooting for Mark, cheering (silently of course) with every of his triumph and cursing whenever something went wrong, but cheering him on to overcome that adversity, feeling his anguish, desolation and desperation.
Overall, I would say that it was a well-spent 2 hours and 14 minutes. I would give it 4 stars – not a must-watch classic, but a really good movie to catch, that would make leave the cinema feeling good, positive and ready to take on the world (or Mars…)!