An exhibition of excellence

Ridley Scott’s latest debut film, “The Martian,” reaches interstellar heights


‘The Martian,’ which was released in theaters on Oct. 2, stays true to the novel and is sure to please fans.

By Matthew Wu

When movie adaptations are made, there’s always the worry of the product not being truthful to the original content. Despite being major box office hits, films like “Harry Potter,” “The Lord of the Rings” and even “The Great Gatsby” all fell victim to this type of criticism.

So when Ridley Scott announced he would direct a movie adaption of Andy Weir’s famous science fiction novel, “The Martian,” there’s no doubt diehard fans of the book were both eager and apprehensive about seeing the finished product.

What fans didn’t know however, was that Scott not only remains true to the novel’s original nature, he portrays the film in a way which is guaranteed to leave a smile on anyone’s face.

When a severe storm hits the Ares III manned mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is left for dead by the rest of his crew. Stranded and alone, Watney must use his skills as a botanist to survive long enough for a manned mission from Earth to come back and rescue him.

As simple as it seems, the plot of the movie fulfills its duty in providing a rich backdrop for Watney’s extraterrestrial adventures. There isn’t any complicated scientific language and the references to scientific concepts are simple enough that viewers won’t be confused.

Cinematic camera angles of the red planet, CGI effects of spacecraft and portrayals of severe storms helps bring Mars into an astounding visual light.

The true beauty of the film, however, lies in the presentation of comedy that Scott utilizes to give life to an otherwise dead planet.

None of this is truer than in Watney, who consistently remains the true star of the film through his unique dialogue and characteristics.

He’s sarcastic, immature and ultimately a huge geek at heart, but that’s what makes his character so appealing. Everything from his hatred of disco music to the way he talks is enough to put any viewer in a good mood.

Other situations and scenes throughout the movie display a type of distinct humor, giving “The Martian” its unique comedic flare.

Of course, that’s not to say the film is perfect.

There are still issues relating to the other characters, who often seem superficial and even undeveloped at times, but it’s little enough that viewers of the film won’t be distracted.

It’s safe to say that “The Martian” takes viewers on a journey to see Mars for what it is, but does so in a unique perspective which blends lighthearted comedy with the severity of the planet’s desolate landscape.

The movie truly is an adventure from start to finish. An adventure which, thankfully, Watney serves as a guide, taking viewers along with him on a journey of starstruck proportions.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars