So I went to see The Martian at the weekend and I need to talk about it because it was fantastic and a few tweets fangirling about it isn’t enough. However I have never reviewed a movie before and there is a good chance this post could turn into the disjointed ramblings of a person who has spent far too many hours reading a book about a guy stuck on Mars.
I’m also going to put all of the spoilers warnings on this post. But really, if you haven’t read The Martian yet what the heck have you been doing with your life?
First of all, they did change parts from the book. And I’m okay with that. The thing with the book is that literally every single thing that could go wrong does. Almost like Mark Watney has been cursed with bad luck. I like that they changed bits, that way if you read the book first you will go into the movie not knowing exactly what is going to happen.
I was a little unhappy that they cut down the road trip to Schiaparelli. But I understand why they did it, it would have been too long. Also the whole thing with the almost invisible dust cloud wouldn’t have worked so well on film. Since Watney doesn’t lose contact with NASA it was nice to see that they inserted a few new jokes, especially in relation to the space pirate thing.
I think the comedy was fantastic (I nearly died at the reference to Glorfindel). The thing with The Martian is that the actual story is very serious, you just have a main character who doesn’t take things seriously. But the managed to get the balance of serious stuff and comedy just right. I especially liked how they showed some of Mark’s lower moments, you don’t really get to see that in the book as he is writing about everything after the fact.
Because of how the Martian is written, I didn’t know if it would translate into film very well, but it was really good. A thing I didn’t enjoy so much was how the characters would say what they were writing as they were writing it. This is a thing I don’t like in all movies, not just this one, I think it’s really cheesy and literally no one writes like that.
One thing I should probably mention is that most of the dialogue was taken directly from the book. I was really pleased to see that they kept in the line: “If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.” I realise it’s a silly little thing but it’s surprising how many movies change the dialogue.
And finally, the thing I loved the most was the music. I didn’t think disco classics would work well in a space movie but they did and it was magical. I was really pleased that they got in a Bowie song. David Bowie has so many great space songs, I would have been pissed if they didn’t include one. I won’t say which one it was incase anyone reading this hasn’t seen the movie yet (wtf are you doing go watch the movie) but it was there and it was fantastic.
TL;DR Ridley Scott did not fuck it up.