This wasn’t really on my “I have to watch this movie immediately or I will start biting things” list. However, if hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t be writing this review. So just assume that I’ve seen it, kay? Gosh, don’t have to take such a ‘tude with me.
Okay, let’s start with the story. The story was surprisingly engaging and interesting. When confronted with the trailers, I was thinking that the film was going to be; “Oh no, I’m stuck on Mars, better grow some plants and stuff. Oh no, everyone thinks I’m dead, oh wait, they now know I’m alive, cool beans” and then Matt Damon doing Matt Damony things. Come to think of it, that sort of was the story, in essence. However, my main quarrel was that the supporting cast might not have been fleshed out enough, and that turned me off. Oh, was I wrong. Along with Damon, the film boasts pretty much an all-star cast; Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara (shudder), Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Errol from 15 Storeys High. Almost the entire cast put in a good performance apart from a certain unnecessary media relations person, not naming names (KRISTEN WIIG), yet Matt Damon completely stole the show as Mark Watney.
Matt Damon is most definitely going to, at the least, recieve an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the lead. Mark Watney made the film. The sarcastic and optimistic approach to each of his problems lightened the films tone from, what could have been a terribly intense film to more of a tale of hope and I’m afraid that, if Matt Damon wasn’t cast, the film could’ve been the former. Another particularly impressive performance was from one Chiwetel Ejiofor, who played Vincent Kapoor, a summutorother for NASA and the voice of reason throughout the film. He shares Mark’s optimism and positivity as the problems begin to arise. Those two were the only performances that fully stood out from the rest but bonus points for Kate Mara who has completely changed my opinion of her, which I formed after watching Fantastic Four and her blander-than-quinoa performance as the Invisible Woman. However, in this she is surprisingly likable and, although not a stand out performance, it is miles, no lightyears better than Sue Storm.
Oh, Kristen Wiig, you were so unnecessary. You were the space equivilant to Willie Scott, complaining about bloody everything. Please, stick to your mildly entertaining comedies. Thank you.
Let’s get technical.
The cinematography. I’m going to pretend that I know a little bit about cinematography. Some of the establishing shots of Mars were absolutely marvellous. I was open mouthed for the majority of them. An interesting technique was the use of the webcam as a medium for Mark, basically, explaining the plot because on its own, by that I mean without Mark constantly informing the audience, the film would suffer from a similar problem that Interstellar suffered from; What the hell is going on? However, it didn’t and the webcam was different to simple narration, which made things rather interesting.
The sound was quite unimpressive, quite frankly. Admittedly, the score, in most places, added greatly to the film’s sense of grandeur. That being said, I thought, in this day and age, that we have established that there is NO sound in space, as there are no particles for the waves to travel through. So why, oh sweet lord why, did the airlock explosions and shuttle thingys make a sort of muffled explosion noise? The worst part is the muffling because that shows that Ridley Scott or whoever did the sound mixing– wait, let me look that up a sec — James Harrison, sound effects director, knew, on some level, that there is no sound in space and made the noise muffled, like that helps.
Overall, this was a fine film, a great film I may go as far to say. However, it was two and half hours long so some of the scenes were a little bit dragged out. Compared to other spacey films, better than Interstellar not as good as Gravity, that should give you an idea.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations