The Martian: A Movie Review

The Martian: A Movie Review

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.

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35 thoughts on “The Martian: A Movie Review

  1. Great review, Emma. It’s my birthday in a few days and I’m hoping we’re going to see this at the weekend as a birthday treat 🙂
    Glad to hear it fulfills expectations. Very excited to watch it.

      1. We saw it yesterday! It was a great film and husband swears already he’s going to buy it on blue ray 🙂 Took my eleven year old son, too and he loved it. Unfortunately, I never did get round to reading the book first. But if I’d waited much longer, we would have missed it at the cinema and it’s definitely one to watch on the big screen. It was a great mixture of tension, science, excitement, emotion. Ridley Scott did a grand job. A truly great film.

          1. I really know nothing about it other than what David Mitchell said at his Edinburgh book festival talk. He compared it to a vegetarian venison burger if you haven’t read The Bone Clocks. Something like that. I can’t remember. Basically it’s best to read Bone Clocks first.

  2. Great post!! I’ve read the book and went to see the movie on Saturday!! It was great, loved the humour, the action and the little extras with the end credits!! 🙂

  3. I haven’t read the book, most of my reading nowadays isn’t science-fiction unfortunately, but I do intend to see the movie. I expected that the movie would end on a happy note and so any spoilers you gave didn’t bother me. I just hope that the movie is worth my time and you indicate that it should be and that is fine. I do, however, realize that your idea of what is good and mine are going to differ perhaps enough that any recommendation you give will be worthless to me. But that is the risk (and why I rarely give recommendations).

  4. I saw the movie last weekend. It was fantastic. Anyhow I am big fan of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi movies. Though I missed out on reading the book (which I usually do for such hyped movies) , I feel that movie has cut down on too scientific and serious stuff. I am not sure if book also written in same mood. I will read the book for sure.

          1. True. I’d just ben wondering how they managed to tolerate such a long trip in a ship that is mostly a vacuum…like…was the gym still operable in the vacuum? If not, their muscles would atrophy. Ditto bathrooms…were the shuttle bathrooms usable at all without atmosphere?

  5. I read the first two lines of this and decided will read the rest after i see the movie. Haha. I loved it too. Great Direction. Haven’t read the book tho. Will grab one soon. “P

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