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The Martian (9/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 134 minutes.
OK for children.
Whatís really terrific about this film are the cinematography, 3D, and
CGI special effects. The story, about Matt Damon being abandoned on
Mars, strains credulity but is interesting if one can ignore some things
that are pretty hard to believe.
Directed by talented Ridley Scott, from a script by Drew Goddard based
on Andy Weirís bestselling book, a crew headed by Melissa Lewis (Jessica
Chastain; this is todayís Hollywood, so they gotta be politically
correct and have a woman as the Commander) abandons Mark Watney (Damon)
on Mars as a terrible storm is threatening to topple their spaceship if
they donít take off immediately. Unfortunately, they think that Mark is
dead, so off they go. But Mark isnít dead, so he gets up and tries to
survive on a planet that canít grow food and doesnít have any water to
drink or air to breathe. Sounds pretty hopeless.
But this is well enough directed and written that they make Mark a
botanist and he can figure out how to grow potatoes. Heís also astute
enough an engineer (just a jack of all trades, really) that he knows how
to gerrymander the communications equipment so he can finally
communicate back to good old earth.
Well, things happen, as they say, but Mark perseveres. Unbelievable as
this all is, itís well enough done that you can buy just about
everything. What I didnít buy was Markís 3,000 mile journey across the
desolate Martian landscape to the only place where he could possibly
reconnoiter to meet someone coming to save him.
Still, the acting is good but itís the special effects, 3D, and IMAX
that make this, well, special. One of the better 134 minute movies you
will sit through.