As a genre, sci-fi quite often provides audiences with both thrilling and thought provoking films. Over the past decade there have been some great entries into the genre from filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and Alfonso Cuaron however, 2015 sees a director return to form in the genre he made his name in.

Ridley Scott is responsible for arguably two of the greatest sci-fi films ever made in Alien and Blade Runner, and while Prometheus may not have been a great prequel to the former in 2012, there is no denying that Scott is at his strongest when working within the genre. The Martian is Scott's latest venture into sci-fi and easily his best film in a while.

When astronaut David Watney (Matt Damon) is separated from the rest of his crew as a result of a storm during a mission on Mars, he is presumed dead by both his crew and everyone on Earth. 

Stranded on Mars all alone, Watney must find a way to survive the harsh conditions of Mars while trying to communicate with NASA in order to get a rescue mission sent his way.  

What struck me most about The Martian is that, for a film that runs for nearly two and a half hours, it absolutely flies by. Thanks to Scott's direction, a zippy screenplay from Drew Goddard and a superb central performance from Matt Damon, The Martian has an energy running through it that will make sure the audience doesn't lose an interest. Personally, I could have watched another half an hour of it.

The film also finds a perfect combination between comedy and drama, which led to a lot more laughs than I thought it would have. It exceeds in both, leading to an interesting take on the human fight for survival and one of 2015's most entertaining films.

Coming to the performance of Damon as the stranded Watney, which has to go down as one my favourites of the year so far, and arguably his best performance to date. Damon sells both the tough and vulnerable sides to Watney, remaining totally watchable throughout, which is important as he shares virtually no screen time with any other actor for the whole film.

The supporting cast isn't too bad either with Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Aksel Hennie and Chiwetel Ejiofor all playing a part in making The Martian such an engrossing watch. 

The cinematography from Dariusz Wolski impressively captures the scope of just how isolated you could be on a vast planet like Mars while also making sure that Damon remains  your main focus. There is also some great choices in music for a soundtrack that accompanies the film in such a fun manner.

The Martian doesn't reach the high intensity levels of recent sci-fi films such as Gravity or Interstellar but it doesn't have to. For an entertaining slice of sci-fi at the cinema, The Martian is the film for you. I will definitely have to make time to read the novel this is adapted from.

Verdict: ★★★★½


Popular Posts