Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Drew Goddard
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, and Sean Bean
The Martian did for Ridley Scott what Black Mass had done for Johnny Deep back in September. The Martian is the film that reminds people of what they may have forgotten in the wake of movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Councilor. Both of those films not well received by either critics or fans of Scott’s. The Martian is the movie that reaffirms why Scott holds the status of a legendary director. Scott directed the film brilliantly. The movie starts and immediately puts you right in the action, so to speak. It spends all of ten minutes setting up where the film intends to go and moves quickly for a movie with a 141-minute runtime. The movie is paced well; it never unnecessarily drags things out, and the film starts and does not stop until the credits roll. Also, as much as Matt Damon’s character hates that only 1970’s disco music is the only music that he has available, I rather liked the soundtrack to the movie. It was fun seeing Damon disassemble the rocket while Abba’s “Waterloo” is playing, also on the soundtrack is David Bowie’s “Starman.” How is that soundtrack not awesome? While, the soundtrack may not have been exclusively at the discretion of Scott, it would make sense that he as the director did have a say in what music appeared in the movie.
Aside from the strong direction of Ridley Scott, the film contains a strong cast. Damon delivers an excellent performance, but unlike Tom Hanks in Cast Away or Robert Redford in All is Lost Damon does not carry the whole film on his shoulders. Damon is surrounded by a strong supporting cast, unlike Hanks and Redford as mentioned earlier. Any one of the supporting cast in the movie is deserving of supporting Oscar nominations, especially the performances of Ejiofor and Daniels. Having several characters is the film’s greatest strength because if The Martian had rested solely on the shoulders of Matt Damon the movie would not be as strong as it turned out to be.
The Martian, when all of its elements, sharp direction, brilliant cast, beautiful shots, tense drama, and a surprising amount of humor. When those elements a put together, you get what is easily one of the strongest films of the year. Come Oscar time I am sure that The Martian will appear in several of the categories. The Martian receives 4.75/5.