The Martian (2015) ★★☆☆☆

Merely a long, drawn-out science lesson. 

When a storm hits Mars, Astronaut, Mark Watney (Matt Damon), is left stranded, and presumed dead after being hit by flying debris. Alive and well, he must now find a way to contact NASA.

The Martian isn’t particularly “dreadful”, but it certainly didn’t live up to the overwhelming hype set before us. The amount of critics that have given the film a 4 star rating is shocking, as it’s not that incredible. Simply a film where you hope to be on the edge of your seat for the duration, but weren’t. The narrative itself is predictable, having little tension, nor suspense. Scientific jargon overflows the narrative, which serves as another underwhelming aspect; it’s just jargon at the end of the day. The film contains a handful of bland characters, of which you cannot pick apart from one another. These stereotypes are used merely for the narrative. Too many characters, with too little meaning. Matt Damon didn’t bring anything new to the table either, and the fact he found the whole situation hilarious, didn’t make it believable in the slightest with this tone. CGI-heavy, the producers need to realise that visual effects alone don’t make a satisfactory film – even the visual effects for Gravity were more commendable.

Hardly ground-breaking, The Martian is similar to reading a textbook; where it’s all explained for you, with no room for excitement, and lacking emotional depth. It would have made a better survival tale, if they’d have stuck to that, instead of being entirely manipulative. It provided a forgettable few hours. Not the worst film to be released in 2015, (Pan, Ted 2, The Boy Next Door…) but a disappointment nonetheless.

12 thoughts on “The Martian (2015) ★★☆☆☆

  1. I’ll definitely agree with you that this film is overrated (nominated for Best Picture? Really). And I never really felt that there were any stakes involved. But still, I thought Matt Damon had plenty of charisma, and seeing such a positive spin on the typical Castaway-esque story was a refreshing change of pace. I liked The Martian a lot, but it wasn’t one of my favorites of the year. Excellent review, especially with such a unique perspective!

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  2. I enjoyed it, but agree it was way over-rated. One thing I noticed just the other night as I walked in on my parents watching it for the first time: I stopped to watch a scene with them, and noticed how painfully slow it was. This was one of the scenes during its climax. I left the room and carried on living my life. Decent movie, but not something I think I would bother watching again.

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  3. Kind of agree with you on Damon being a bit too comedic, although never bothered me enough to dislike it. He did feel a bit like he was a character in Avengers but I did enjoy the film for what it was. I was a bit disappointed by the supporting characters though. Thought they felt a little thin.

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  4. I’ve heard it’s really faithful to the book and I cannot wait to read the book as I quite loved the movie. But i totally get the feeling of it being a little overhyped. I hate it when people expect you to have the same reaction as them when they loved it and you just can’t find the same feeling. 🙂

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  5. Aww, I’m sorry you didn’t like this one. I enjoyed the movie but maybe that’s because I disliked the book so much. You think the movie was like reading a text book? Try the actual book. It made me feel so dumb!^^ And I do agree with you about how Damon’s character didn’t seem to treat his situation seriously. The same thing happens in the book and I’m like: Why is he not freaking out? Still this was a refreshing new take on the movie. 🙂

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  6. I liked the trailer for this one and thought that it maybe had potential for around 7 stars. The lead joking while in the situation sounds a little…intriguing, but I’ll take it if i means less drama. I just watched quite a few ultra serious films so one that takes itself a little more lightly sounds fine. I don’t think I’ll be watching it for quite a while though.

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  7. Damon’s humor added a better wrinkle to the stranded survivor genre. We’ve seen countless characters who go the full Eeyore, so why not have a character that accepts his situation and makes the best of it. I do agree with you on pacing but that’s always been a Ridley Scott issue.

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