Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, The Martian revolves around astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon). He is part of Ares III, a manned NASA mission to Mars, along with Lewis (Jessica Chastain), Martinez (Michael Peña), Johanssen (Kate Mara), Vogel (Aksel Hennie), and Beck (Sebastian Stan). After settling into their base camp, they have to abort their mission and blast off towards home when a fierce storm blows in. In the process, Watney is abandoned, presumed dead. With only meager supplies at his disposal, Watney is left to his own devices and has to rely on his ingenuity and wit to survive while millions of miles away, NASA (Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig,…) is working around the clock to find a way to get Watney home.
So yeah, it’s kinda like Cast Away on Mars, but Watney doesn’t have a volley ball to become friends with. Matt Damon carries the bulk of this movie and does so with ease, even when he’s digging in the dried excrement of his colleagues in an effort to grow potatoes. Meanwhile director extraordinaire Ridley Scott stays light on his feet and keeps the tone of the movie so optimistic that you sometimes lose sight of just how perilous Watney’s situation is.
Following Alien, Blade Runner and Prometheus, it looks like Scott just made himself another sci-fi classic. Surprisingly lighthearted, but only sourpusses will not enjoy watching Damon ‘science the shit out of this one.’
The blu-ray version comes with over an hour of extras, including a number of featurettes, a gag reel and a production gallery.