As with Andy Weir’s novel, the reason that The Martian works so brilliantly as a film is that it’s a one-man show that’s much bigger than just one person.
Matt Damon shines as the lovechild of Neil Armstrong and MacGyver, his natural wit and charm bringing levity to the bleak moments and making you genuinely root for Watney, but to focus on him is to ignore the stellar work of the supporting cast off-planet.
Perhaps the biggest surprise, though, is how deftly Drew Goddard weaves the unashamedly complex science into an otherwise uncomplicated thriller. Few screenwriters could make ASCII codes so exciting.
The Martian is a stunning return to form for Ridley Scott and a great film in its own right. Light-years ahead of the ‘out of this world’ cliché.
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott
WRITERS: Drew Goddard (screenplay), Andy Weir (novel)
CAST: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña, Kate Mara
SYNOPSIS: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. With only meagre supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.