Top 100 Films Of The 2010’s – #55 – The Martian (2015)


RELEASED: 30th September 2015

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

CAST: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Eddy Ko, Chen Shu and Nick Mohammed

BUDGET: $108m

BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $630.1m

AWARDS: 2 Golden Globes (Best Picture Comedy/Musical and Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical)

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

 

Based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir, The Martian takes us to the Aries III manned mission on Mars where soon enough the group of Astronauts are hit by an intense storm which leads to Mark Watney being hit by debris and presumed dead, leaving mission commander Melissa Lewis no choice but to leave him behind for the sake of the crews lives to leave Mars….only problem is that Watney survives. With little supplies, Watney must use his knowledge as a botanist to grow food within the mission’s artificial habitat as he will have to survive for at least the next three years before the next manned mission arrives.

 

Ridley Scott went through a few hits and misses in the 2010s decade, but the one film I believed to be his best was 2015’s The Martian. With Andy Weir’s novel adapted for the big screen by Drew Goddard, the material is handled greatly here, with its scientific exposition from Mark Watney’s point of view being more intriguing than confusing, as well as some of its moments of humour being executed very well, particularly in Mark’s frustration with having the only music he has to get him by is Commander Melissa Lewis’s disco collection. The cinematography from Darius Wolski is really good here, in using the location of Wadi Rum in Jordan to give the feel of Mark Watney being stuck on Mars, the production design work from Arthur Max is also really good here, especially when it comes to highlighting the look of the ‘Hab’ on Acidalia Planitia and the Ares III ship in space. Matt Damon gives his best performance in this decade as Mark Whatney, a likeable everyman that happens to be stuck in this alien environment with limited resources, extreme surroundings and when he initially changes from awaiting to demise to claiming ‘I’m not going to die here’ and go straight into survival mode, you can’t help but root for him to make it out alive. The supporting ensemble across the board is really good as well. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a really good performance as NASA Mars mission director Vincent Kapoor, Jeff Daniels is also really good with his commanding presence as NASA director Teddy Sanders, and the Ares III crew (Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan and Aksel Hennie) are also really good here.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: In order to survive, Mark must improvise a garden inside the Hub he’s in and also make water, leading to him having light hydrogen and mix it with oxygen. The first attempt leads to a short-lived moment of triumph for him as it works and explodes. The video log after is what seals it as my favourite scene in the film.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonised it. So, technically, I colonised Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!” – Mark Whatney

DID YOU KNOW: NASA was consulted in order to get aspects of space and space travel, specifically in relation to Mars, with the most accuracy. NASA is federally funded, yet charges no one, including private for-profit organisations, any fees for use of and access to its archives and consultancy.

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