ENTERTAINMENT: “The Martian” Takes Viewers Out Of This World

(Photo courtesy imdb.com)

(Photo courtesy imdb.com)

By Nicole Macchio – Entertainment Editor

The bestselling novel “The Martian” is now out of this world.

The novel to film adaption takes viewers from the inside of a dark theater to the vast expanse of Mars’ surface. The film made $21.5 million in its opening weekend.

“The Martian” begins with a team doing research on Mars for a short mission. Astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is left on Mars after an intense storm makes his team think he’s dead. The only problem is he’s not.

Watney has to find a way to survive on a barren, oxygen depraved, and uninhabited planet by himself. After performing emergency surgery on himself to take out the antenna that embedded itself in his stomach while simultaneously ruining any chance of communicating with NASA, Watney has his work cut out for him.

Despite the fact that the movie is based heavily in science fiction, viewers won’t be able to turn away. The technical, scientific aspects of the movie were explained in a way that was not confusing and didn’t detract from the story.

The film draws viewers in with this unending optimism. In the face of unbearable odds, some that even have Watney believing it’s the end for him, he continues to move forward because while it could end with him dying, it could also lead to him living.

Damon’s role was the highlight of the movie. He brought forth a version of his character that was inspiring and heartfelt. He has spent a fair share of his time traveling through space in works from “Interstellar” to “Elysium” and now he is traversing across Mars. His previous roles prepared him to take on the action sequences of this film.

Each setback had viewers rooting for Watney even more. At one point, the crew decides to go back to save Watney despite the consequences. They go against specific orders and plunge back into the atmosphere of Mars to save their crewmate and friend.

But Watney’s battle for life isn’t only dependent on himself. On Earth, NASA is trying to deal with the backlash of leaving a man on Mars. Teddy Sander, the head of NASA played by Jeff Daniels, works to help Watney while also keeping too much buzz from the press. Sander schemes and cuts corners, barking orders trying to keep it under wraps, within budget and a time frame.

The end of the movie features a surprise conclusion that will pique interest and leave viewers in awe of the sheer brilliance of these scientists.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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