Student reporter Johnny Mocny deems “The Martian” out of this world

Johnny Mocny, Student Reporter

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Matt Damon is an American treasure. Between him and Ben Affleck, I would not hesitate to give up Affleck first. Sorry, Ben. I loved Argo.

Despite his talent, Damon has not been the lead in an amazing movie for a little while. The same can be said for Ridley Scott, who has movies like Alien, Gladiator, Blade Runner, American Gangster, Thelma & Louise, and Black Hawk Down to his name. Maybe it was this need of a resurgence that gave these two the power to make The Martian, one of the best space movies ever.

Yeah, I said it. In a world where we have Apollo 13 and 2001: A Space Odyssey, this movie has risen to the occasion to really kick off the 2015 Oscar season with a bang.

Mark Watney (Damon) is an astronaut who is on a mission on Mars. When a large storm appears, he is knocked unconscious and is lost, leaving his team to flee without him, presuming he’s dead. Little do they know, he survived, and is forced to turn to his botany skills to grow food while everyone back at home groups together to attempt to bring Watney back.

The Martian could easily be a somber, depressing movie, but the script-and Damon for that matter-bring such a charm and a sense of humor to the character of Mark Watney, that we actually have fun being stuck on Mars with him. Amidst the extremely well-handled tension and action scenes, the humor of this film is really what brings it above and beyond. This is a really funny movie. Watney is such an optimist with a raw sense of sarcasm that we immediately like him and want him to succeed. Early on, there’s a scene where he pulls shrapnel out of himself, and the scene was so gritty and nail-biting that I heard the discomfort of the people in the audience. Then, this amazing scene ends with the perfect tension-cutter, and the audience was laughing all the way through the next scene.

That’s not to say that good old Will Hunting is the only great performance. This movie is brimming with an incredibly talented cast, all giving their A-game: Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor are NASA leaders clashing in opinion of how to bring Watney home. Sean Bean and Kristen Wiig are there, too, all handling the drama and the humor especially well. Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, and Aksel Hennie play the members of Watney’s team, all of which are fantastic, especially Chastain. I feel like there are other people I need to mention. Like Donald Glover. He was good, too.

Ridley Scott has returned with a vengeance, and has made an instant classic. This movie is fun without fluff, tense without loss of character, and funny without stupidity. Go see The Martian. It comes down to just that. Or, if one is reading the book first, hurry up and then go see the movie.

The Martian is truly nothing short of flawless. The incredible film is composed of brilliant cast and one of the best scripts in recent years. To top it all off, the movie is directed by one of the best in the industry: Ridley Scott.

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