The Martian is a strong partnership between director Ridley Scott and actor Matt Damon. They are the spine that carries the film and allows the story to develop in splendid fashion. If you read my previous blog on Ridley Scott you will know that he has shown tremendous restraint in directing this film.
The genre of this film is science fiction but it is more aptly science possible. The story is about survival and rescue. If you enjoyed Apollo 13, you will be enthralled about this film. Based on the book of the same name, the film covers a lot of ground in the more than two hour runtime, but it passes quickly.
Matt Damon is a versatile actor and can adapt to most any role. The film is chocked full of fine actors allowing each to have at least a few moments in the spotlight. The real star of the film is Mars, or the area of the country of Jordan that served as the Red Planet. Some day we may have a temporary outpost on Mars as portrayed in the film, if we can make the science work and we can adapt to the demands of long range space travel.
As I said in my blog about Ridley Scott, he shows tremendous restraint and lets the actors and story take center stage. He directs just enough to move the story forward and lets the visuals of Mars and space ramp up when needed but not take over the story.
It would be easy to over-review this film and dissect every puzzle of science in the film or the implications of future space travel, but I will resist. Enjoy the film as a great diversion and get wrapped up in the story, the two-plus hours are worth it.