The Martian, based on Andy Weir’s science fiction book of the same name, succeeds on so many levels—including a stellar performance by Matt Damon, who plays stranded astronaut Mark Watney.
Watney finds himself abandoned on Mars, when his crew mistakenly leaves him for dead after a sudden and terrifying storm. When Watney regains consciousness, with supplies dwindling, he must figure out how to survive and grow food on a barren and dangerous planet. Through wit and ingenuity, the astronaut must discover new ways to stay alive.
This includes growing food where nothing grows, and making water where none previously exists. Watney also makes especially creative use of growing potatoes. Eventually, the astronaut also finds a crude way of communicating with NASA, which provides him with increasingly complex directions.
The movie avoids many of the technical details of such experiments, focusing on the “human” experience instead. Damon’s masterful performance encapsulates a horrific struggle, while finding a realistic balance of hope and humor
The Martian earns this critic’s highest praise. It is entertaining, humorous, and very exciting. The plot, supported by realistic visual effects, is equally engaging. If you like science, math, action, and survival, this movie is for you!