During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
I watched this movie few days after having finished the novel it was based on, so it was still pretty fresh in my mind.
As usual, some things were true to the original story, others were changed. That’s fine. The movie was 130 minutes long, there’s only so much you can condense in that time.
I was sad to see some of the changes though, particularly to the characters’ personalities.
My main fear came true, of course. Don’t get me wrong, Matt Damon was superb in his role of an astronaut who gets stranded on a hostile planet by himself for months in a row. He did absolutely great with what he was given. But he was just not Mark Watney.
That’s what happens when an author creates such a great character. No one living can do it justice. Certainly not Matt Damon – sorry, again, nothing against the guy, he did great. But he needed to be a lot more indiscreet in an almost juvenile way to be a true Mark Watney, and I just don’t think he has it in him.
I didn’t really get the feeling of utterly loneliness and hopelessness as the days went by in the movie as I had in the book. In the written word, Watney always had a purpose, but you could still feel it eating away at him.
Speaking of which, for a guy who was supposed to be on rations from practically the beginning, Watney sure seemed to constantly be eating. What was up with that?
Again, I admire Damon for what he did with what he was given and was impressed by how much weight he lost. But alas, as happens with all movie adaptations, I felt some essential scenes were cut out that would have given the film more momentum.
And if I thought the rescue scene was silly in the book well then the movie took it to a whole new ridicule level.
I was actually happier with the movie’s ending, as it brought me more closure, and there were a few very emotional moments.
It’s a cool sci-fi movie, even with all the flaws. Go watch it!