'The Martian' Review by Ammar Akhtar

The Martian stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Michael Peña, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels. 'The Martian' tells the story of Mark Watney and his survival on the planet Mars, as he's left stranded after his crew left him after a fierce storm, thinking he was dead.

'The Martian' was yet another movie that I was looking forward to due to the creative team behind it. Ridley Scott directing it, along with Matt Damon as the star?! What's not to like? Thankfully, it's very refreshing to witness a grand experience of a movie because I absolutely adored this film.

I'd say the strongest part of the movie was definitely Matt Damon and his character. He did a tremendous job with his performance, but what really surprised me most was his characters personality. It shines throughout the entire movie, and we see it based on his reactions to everything that comes his way. He creates an optimistic environment, which gives the movie a happy/joyous feeling that I loved. It's strange because this movie is about a guy who's stranded on a planet that's unknown to the human race!

Probably the best part of the entire movie is witnessing Watney adapt to the Mars life. It's so interesting to see what he does since he's on his own. This part felt very similar to 'Cast Away' where Tom Hanks was lost at sea, but wakes up on a uninhabited island. In both movies, the main characters find ways to survive, which is great to see on screen. They also struggle as well, which can be hard to watch. There's one scene in particular in 'The Martian', which made me very uncomfortable due to it's gruesome nature and overall scary environment. Even when we cut back to Earth, it's interesting to watch as well. The people at NASA are trying to save Watney, but they're struggling as well since he's at Mars. The way Scott portrayed both plot points were great and added a lot to the movie. It all was very well handled. 

Not only does Matt Damon shine, but a lot of others as well. This movie has a list of big names, which are listed above. But one of my favorite characters was Jeff Daniels'. At first I saw him as a villain of the movie, but he's more of a challenge. He wants Watney to come back home, but he presents logical setbacks that he constantly throws at peoples faces. He's seen as a way for people to defy him and show him that he can be wrong. I also found Chiwetel Ejiofer's character interesting as well. He's one of the few people who portrays deep affection for finding Mark Watney, and it's just very intriguing to see on screen. As a whole, I thought the characters were very well handled and it was great to see them all attempt to save this man.

Now a lot of people are probably going to compare this to 2014's space movie 'Interstellar', which is understandable considering they both have Matt Damon stranded in space. I believe 'The Martian' is a much stronger movie that's both entertaining and interesting to see on screen. With 'Interstellar', it's not a bad movie, but it's biggest flaws is it's ending and the failed attempt at explaining the science behind it all. This movie accomplished both of these tasks, while also maintaining to keep a cohesive story and excellent characters. I love 'Interstellar' and think it's under appreciated, but 'The Martian' is a far better movie.

Overall, 'The Martian' was everything I wanted it to be. It had some great characters and an interesting story that kept me entertained from start to finish. Matt Damon did an excellent job playing the scientist lost in space, and so did Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofer. It's an excellent science fiction movie directed by the man known for making Sci-Fi classics. Ridley Scott definitely brought his all into this movie, and I found it to be quite fascinating.

MY SCORE: 10/10