Title: The Martian
Rating: 4 Stars
After Sicario, I kind of needed a different kind of movie to watch. The Martian totally fit the bill.
Matt Damon plays a botanist on Mars that gets accidentally left behind during a storm. He’s trapped knowing that he needs to somehow figure out a way to stay alive for years with very limited food and water.
American know-how comes out front and center. He’s a likable guy that is smart and talks to himself a lot. He figures out how to grow potatoes and generally learns how to survive.
Meanwhile, back at NASA, they figure out that he’s still alive. He communicates with NASA via an abandoned rover.
Various disasters occur and are solved via the magic of science. The general theme that any problem, no matter how dire, can be solved via science is, sadly enough, a message that needs to be made more often in America.
For a sci-fi action movie, it had a very liberal agenda. Absolutely no Bechdel problem here. The flight commander is a woman. The requisite geeky character on the mission is a woman, and, lo and behold, they talk to each other about things other than men! The NASA Mars flight director is black. The engineer that comes up with a brilliant way to save Matt is black. The head JPL guy is Asian. Hell, NASA is bailed out by the Chinese space agency. All that was required was a cameo by Obama. Guess what? All that diversity and it was still a good movie that made a lot of money! Go figure!
Not a movie that’s going to make a lot of greatest ever made or most socially significant movies of all time, but definitely good popcorn fare.