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The Martian

By on October 27, 2015

381806-the-martianLet’s get Matt Damon back home because … just because.

What is this film? What’s it actually about?

If you’ve seen the trailer you’d know that this is a film about how Matt Damon is accidentally left to fend for himself on Mars and that the people of Earth try to get him back – that’s literally the film – and I mean it.

There’s no deeper meaning here, there’s no underlying sense of Damon’s isolation in his personal life being reflected in his circumstances (a la Gravity), there’s no plot twists and turns – it is simply one man trying to survive on Mars.

The other problem being that Damon seems extremely capable of living there – the sense of danger dwindles almost as quickly as it turns up. At no point do you ever consider he is in real danger – instead it becomes a waiting game while you watch some great minds, and brief cameos from the likes of Donald Glover, come together to figure out what to do.

Some of this ensemble get less than a few lines of dialogue – yet in the credits each one gets there own shot and name title – as if this was Ocean’s Eleven. It’s as if the film thinks you’ve got an emotional investment in these characters you know nothing about nor do you care for. You only see them as they’re trying to figure out how to keep Matt Damon alive.

Saying that, it’s interesting. It’s interesting in the way you might read an article in your newspaper saying ‘How To Survive on Mars’ –  but nothing more than that. The cheesy, ‘funny’ exchanges don’t help, Damon seems to be at home spending so much time with himself – never showing any sign of cracking without human contact or a sense of palpable dread which I know I’d be going through. Instead, he’s always in an irritatingly good mood.

I really did think this would be a personal voyage for Matt Damon – someone who feels like a Martian on Earth that now is literally in complete isolation. Instead, it’s almost like a weird recreation of events with a slight dramatic edge.

Overall, it wasn’t boring as such – but I never felt gripped and the ending didn’t give me that kick like it did with Captain Phillips, but instead left me wondering what I had just watched and why it was made in the first place.

Rating: 4/10

Make sure to listen to our film podcast Soggy Popcorn on The Wild Bore podcast channel where we discuss this film and more.

 

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