"In the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with only one option, I'm gonna have to science the shit out of this."
Another year, another great space sci-fi film. This year, Ridley Scott brings us a story of a man left on mars and having to survive there with whatever is left till help arrives.
Matt Damon, who plays the astronaut stranded on Mars Mark Whatney, gave a great performance, his best one in years. Other than him, the movie had a HUGE cast with tons of A-Listers, all of whom did a great job in their limited screentime. Special nod to Donald Glover (Troy from Community), loved him and his character.
With this kind of plot, I was surprised to see how optimistic, mostly lighthearted and entertaining this movie was. It could have easily been a depressing survival tale but Scott went the other way. Our Protagonist was an extremely likable and optimistic dude and it was just awesome seeing him science the shit out of things to survive by any means possible.
The movie shifts between Mars and Earth, giving us time with Whatney as well as people on Earth coming together and trying to figure out a way to bring him back home and it was pretty great seeing both sides. The switching was handled well, although admittedly the Mars scenes were ultimately more enjoyable because of Matt Damon.
The movie looked really great with great looking CGI and beautiful wide shots. It is not an easy thing to make a desolated place like Mars look beautiful but Scott did it. The soundtrack was pretty good and did its job however I would have loved it if it had some more memorable tracks.
My issue with this movie was that while the optimistic and entertaining approach was fun to watch, it did lowered the feel of tension quite a bit, only to a few scenes. There were a couple of great scenes depicting just that but I would have loved it if we got one or two more similar scenes. Also, the finale and the thrill/tension in it was not that well handled and it kinda felt anti-climatic. And with having SUCH a huge character set, majority of them hardly got any development. But gotta give movie props for making them all feel relevant.
All in all, it was a really entertaining and enjoyable experience. It is good to see Ridley Scott delivering a great movie again. I hope this trend of yearly awesome space sci-fi films continue as I just love them.