Friday, October 9, 2015

The Martian (2015): Now With 75% Less Science!

Matt Damon in The Martian.

Or something like that. I expect a film based upon a book that relies heavily on things like math, biology, and orbital mechanics for its plot to get dumbed down for the big screen, but with The Martian, screenwriter Drew Goddard, and director Ridley "Go Home, You've Been Drunk for Thirty Years" Scott managed to gut the driving force of the plot, and turn a gripping story of human ingenuity, perseverance, and bravery into just another basic survival movie where even the science they leave in is at best half-assed, and at worst just plain wrong. Matt Damon does a solid job, but lacks the power to captivate for long periods alone on screen (see Tom hanks in Castaway for an actor who actually can), but the cut-aways to an Earth full of big movie stars in supporting roles manage to support Damon's performance handsomely. All in all, the movie is fine, but if you really want a gripping, edge-of-your seat space thriller, read the book.

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