Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
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Ridley Scott’s The Martian is out now UK theatres (October 2nd US Release) and our Jordan Samuel has had the chance to assess the film, which is based on the world renowned book of the same name.
To many Ridley Scott is the brilliant Sci-Fi director behind the Alien franchise, but he hasn’t had the best set of results recently; with movies like Prometheus and Exodus: Gods and Kings failing to achieve the same standards and critical acclaim.
2015 marks his return to form with The Martian.
September was a pretty dead month for movies, with only Black Mass and the stunningly successful Sicario breaking the trend. Personally, I feel like Ridley Scott is due to deliver something unique to his legions of fans.
But is The Martian the fantastic film experience moviegoers were hoping for?
Let’s find out!
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive
The film stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wig, Kate Mara and Chiwetel Ejiofor; now that is an immense cast who work really well together in this epic and intelligent space thrill ride.
Ridley Scott does well with the source material, providing some outstanding direction with the action sequences, stunning visuals and really engaging dialog. Fans of the book will love the overall tone of The Martian with the jokes landing well and with perfect timing.
Matt Damon works as astronaut Mark Watney. The superb plot and comedy elements allow him to be at his best in The Martian. I was impressed with the range he had in the film and the brilliant connection he demonstrated with his fellow NASA colleagues on screen.
Jessica Chastian is beautiful in her role as the shot-caller here; it is a position we have seen her in before during films like Zero Dark Thirty and Interstellar. She steals every scene here, and we can all be happy that Ridley Scott cast this legendary actress.
Hopefully, it is a role she can continue to own on screen, because she has conquered it masterfully here.
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels stand out. I loved the comedy dynamic between them, even though they weren’t all that crucial to the storytelling. Some of those sequences are just absolute gold.
Action is done really well in this film, with some scenes stealing your breath away; especially the ones featured on Mars with the full crew.
Pacing is good within The Martian, even though it did feel shorter than I expected for a project of this scale. The Mars sequences are just simply stunning, with the popping reds and powerful scenery that is worth the price of admission alone.
Kristen Wiig and Michael Peña were underused in this film sadly, but on the who we can be happy with what we got out of these two talented artists. I loved how the actors played these characters with so much class and humour; elements that work well wth the script, making awesome additions to the NASA Team.
Kate Mara is also a star in The Martian, with her acting coming across as intelligent, and much better than the fatally flawed Fantastic Four. Hopefully we see more of this in future releases, because this young woman has got some talent.
Donald Glover, who is the comedic relief here, also impressed with his constant banter with Jeff Daniels and the crew, taking me straight back to his appearances in Community.
Director Ridley Scott’s adaptation of The Martian is simply awe inspiring, with brilliant cast members and intriguing plot points that makes this 2015’s version of Interstellar.
Perhaps The Martian will receive more justice come Oscar night.
Have you seen The Martian yet? Let me know your opinions below.
Jordan Samuel is a the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @LoadingBa
Mars Done Right
The Martian is the triumphant return for director Ridley Scott, with an immense cast and an intelligent plot. Simply awe inspiring.