Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! The Martian is breathtaking

Running Time: 2 hours and 21 minutes

Rated PG-13

Directed By: Ridley Scott

Grade: A


Matt Damon as Mark Watney

Jessica Chastain as Melissa Lewis

Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose

Kate Mara as Beth Johanssen

Michael Pena as Rick Martinez

Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson

Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel

Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck

Donald Glover as Rich Purnell

Chiwetal Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor

and Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders

Here’s the rub. It’s going to be four years for another mission to reach me and I’m in a HAB designed to last 31 days. I gotta make water and grow food on a planet where nothing grows.

The six man crew of Ares III, on a manned mission to Mars, finds that they must abort their mission early due to a severe storm that threatens their equipment. While Lewis, Watney, Beck, and Vogel struggle to get to the Mars Ascent Vehicle before it tips over, Watney is struck by an antenna and lost in the storm. Lewis (the Commander) attempts to find him without success and the crew is forced to leave without him. Thirty-six sols later, NASA detects Watney’s movement on Mars and begins to formulate a rescue plan. NASA director (Teddy Sanders) and the Ares III flight director (Mitch Henderson) disagree on telling the rest of the crew that Watney is alive. After a failed attempt to send supplies to Watney, a astrodynamicist (Rich Purnell) devises a risky rescue plan. Unfortunately, the crew of Ares III will be facing mutiny charges if they follow the plan. Watney relies on scientific knowledge to survive the harsh conditions of Mars for 7 months and to travel 2,000 miles to the Ares IV landing site in hopes of returning to Earth.

No matter what happens. Tell the world, tell my family, I never stopped fighting to make it home.

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! The Martian is a breathtaking cinematic journey through the devastating isolation of a man stranded 140 million miles from Earth. The story, cleverly written by Andy Weir, was augmented through collaboration with NASA who is gaining support for an actual manned mission to Mars. Ridley Scott, known for his sci-fi films, brings his A-game to this one in the set design, use of CGI, and direction of the stellar cast. There is just enough character development to elicit emotional support from the audience, an excellent soundtrack, and a nail biting climatic ending of the journey. In a story where Apollo 13 meets Castaway, Matt Damon contributes perhaps his best performance to date. With nods to Apollo 13, Alien, and The Lord of the Rings, I recommend repeat viewing (preferably in 3D) to capture everything that this film has to offer.  ~Movie Buffette

About Will Henley