When I sat down on my ‘cloud-like-comfort’ seat and stared at the theatre screen last night, my expectations were high for the critically acclaimed film about to be played.

The Martian, with a star-studded cast featuring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Jessica Chastain and Kate Mara, has received rave reviews from all corners of the internet. Based on the popular novel by Andy Weir, The Martian follows the story of a NASA astronaut who is left-for-dead after a fierce storm leaves him stranded on Mars.

Whilst the remaining crew of ARES III presume him to be dead, Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, must find a way to contact Earth to report his survival. Watney works with few supplies and a rescue mission to save ‘the Martian’ becomes a tireless and seemingly impossible race against the clock.

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I can assure you I am not one to immerse myself into movies (I get bored and fidgety very easily), and with a running time of just under 2.5 hours, I was nervous. Whilst I may have asked myself, “I wonder how far into the movie this is?” director Ridley Scott did a fantastic job of keeping me hanging off the edge of my seat.

Not only was this movie thrilling and stunning to look at, it also took me for a ride on the rollercoaster of emotion. From the very beginning of the movie, I was so stressed for Damon’s character, I completely forgot about the disappointment I had in myself for finishing my popcorn during the opening titles. The stress was real, but I was quick to gain some hope and I really started to root for Mark Watney’s return to Earth.

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The heavily weighted science and exploration element of the movie was actually really interesting to watch as Scott made it coherently easy to follow the ramblings of NASA’s geniuses. No doubt kids will find this action-packed film thrilling too, and if you don’t mind Matt Damon swearing on the odd occasion, this movie has the potential to be a gateway drug to science and astronomy.

With sensational graphics and a plot line that conveniently coincides with NASA’s announcement of water on Mars (a bit dodgy, anyone?), The Martian is predicted to be a box-office hit. Whilst I’m unsure if it’s Oscar-worthy, like sci-fi greats Gravity and Interstellar, The Martian was definitely a winner in my books.

 

Release date: September 30, 2015

Director: Ridley Scott

Running time: 2h 21m

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Words by Taylor Groth | Images by 20th Century Fox Studios