Set on the desolate planet of Mars, a small crew of astronauts inhabiting the red planet are forced to leave, unaware that they have left Mark Watney (Played by Matt Damon) alone by himself; how unfortunate…
Before long a rescue mission begins and we are taken on a unbelievably intelligent, side splitting and tense adventure. Because saving Matt Damon has never been done before…
Despite Matt Damon playing the main protagonist I have been extremely excited to see this film, ever since I saw the first trailer back in June. To be fair to Damon I thought he gave an impressive performance but perhaps that’s because it is natural to like anything if you’re exposed to it for long enough. Also starring in this film was Jessica Chastain who played Melissa, Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson (who for once wasn’t put in any immediate life endangering situation) and even a cheeky appearance from Donald Glover as Rich Purnell; who some may know as “Childish Gambino”.
Director Ridley Scott is no stranger to throwing actors into the vacuum of space so this immediately told me that this was going to be a cracker. You know the film is well directed when he even makes Matt Damon likeable. Anyway, enough of abusing Damon. He actually put on a pretty strong and enjoyable performance. I think the fact that he got a lot of the punchlines helped his likeability a lot.
The comedy is pretty consistent throughout. There were several moments where I physically struggled to stop myself laughing (surprisingly not at Damon’s bland expression), which is great but I was expecting it to be much more similar to Interstellar (2014), non-stop action, edge of your seat kind of stuff but it wasn’t really until the climax. For the most part we were watching Damon take his shot at playing Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) from Cast Away (2000) but he stood no chance without any alternative to Wilson. He even randomly started growing a beard after a year of being on the planet. It wasn’t even representational of possessing more primitive tendencies, he literally grew it for no reason at all.
The majority of the film was shot in Jordan which provided scenery that was more than satisfying to the eye. I just couldn’t look away from the screen. Scott created a breathtaking depiction of our little red neighbour but it wasn’t just the location that was well chosen. The CGI used in the feature was crisp and extremely detailed but was not overused which is easily done in contemporary film. Although the visuals were bursting with colour and beauty, the film’s soundtrack wasn’t so impressive. It featured many classics from the likes of David Bowie, ABBA and more but lacked the depth and omniscience that a film of this capacity would be expected to have.
Overall though, I must say I was surprised by this film in many ways. Damon’s acting was pretty spot on, the visuals were stunning as expected and the soundtrack was a little bit of a let down. I was expecting much more tense moments throughout the film but this only happened towards the end. These moments were incredibly tense but were short lived. As for the storyline, it probably could have been shorter but I’m impressed with how many sub plots developed throughout.
P.s Sorry Matt