"Every Time I Do Anything, I'm the First. It's a Strange Feeling."
The major thing I’ve heard about the novel “The Martian” is that it’s a sci-fi novel for science geeks, and the film uses that concept and makes it (more) interesting to watch. One of the first scenes we see involves Matt Damon’s character suturing the stomach wound that got him trapped on Mars in the first place, and we are not spared a single stop of the gruesome process. This attention to detail is important because it allows us to see two things about Mark Watley: he’s skilled, and he’s resilient. We trust him after this scene because of his technical abilities, but we also care about him on an emotional level because he is a self-aware human staring death in the face.
So we’ve got a charismatic and capable main character played by a great actor in a compelling setting. All of this could have so easily been ruined. The thing that impressed me the most about “The Martian” was that every single character had the same goal: save this man. Every single one, and that includes Watley himself. He didn’t have a beautiful wife and child waiting for him back home. He wasn’t doing it for glory, or for his country, or any of the “normal” things that drive a hero. He used every resource he had because his survival instinct was strong, because he wanted to live. And the support he gets from his crew, from NASA, from everyone on the other end of the operation is meant to honor that impulse to defy odds.
And that makes this film, and the book, a return to form for the Sci-Fi genre. When those stories were first being written, they were about discovering new lands, using new technology, about imagining what new possibilities the future had to offer. Along the way it became popular to depict how badly things could go wrong, and that’s where movies in particular have been stuck for a long time. “The Martian” stirred me and made me care, because its confidence in science and human ingenuity is the kind of thing that makes young children want to be astronauts, or technicians or engineers, to be the kind of people who effect change. Sci-Fi at its purest gives humanity something to work towards.
A few weeks ago we found out that there’s water on Mars. We’re living in the future. What’s our future going to be like?
A screwdriver. I don’t know if astronauts drink Tang anymore, but it still works based on its name.
-Drink whenever we’re told what day, or “sol” it is.
-Drink when Mark Watley records something in the log
-Drink when he eats something
-Drink when a disco or disco-inspired song plays (the soundtrack to this movie is AMAZING by the way)
-Drink whenever someone types something
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "The Martian" was produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film is rated PG-13 with a run time of 141 minutes.
Special thanks to my patorns Caroline Kittredge Faustine, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin and Antonia Beck! Your support helped make this article possible!