While on a manned space mission to Mars, astronaut/botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is stranded on the planet and must use his skills and knowledge to survive and find a way home.
Clocking in at 2 hours and 22 minutes, the Ridley Scott film is admittedly a spectacle with a fine and steady performance by Damon and an effective supporting cast with early Oscar buzz.
The Martian should be a contender for special effects and technical awards, but that’s probably about all. Damon may be acknowledged for his stamina during the cinematic marathon, but his performance misses the emotional depth and conflict that holds similar movies together, such as Castaway with Tom Hanks.
Beware of moving seats
The Martian experience is meant to be enhanced with 3D and D-Box (seats with motion simulating on screen action). But, D-Box for this movie is poorly executed, distracting and not worth the $6 premium.
Bottom line: D-Box is alien to this movie, but it’s worth seeing.
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Drew Goddard
Based on the novel by Andy Weir
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood, Mark Huffam
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis, and Chiwetel Ejiofor