“I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”– Mark Watney
##From Page to Screen Having read the book, I’m always nervous my favorite parts will be changed to “fit the film.” That’s not really the case with The Martian.
While changes were made and certain plot points glossed over or omitted, the pacing of the movie felt right at home to the novel. True to it’s serialized roots, you’re instantly thrown into the story and taken along for a ride that makes the 687 day mission by in a flash.
##Capturing the Humanity Perhaps the biggest apprehension going into the film was: could Matt Damon, known for playing the straight man, appropriately capture the sarcasm and humor of the novel. Quickly, this question is put to rest as Damon’s Watney balances his emotional nods of grief and worry to smart-ass and is laugh-out-loud funny.
In fact, the movie cleverly includes some of the adult dialog in a way that doesn’t push it into a higher rating.
##Changes Perhaps the biggest change, which seems to have been added for a slightly more climatic conclusion, is a reworking of the finale. I suppose I understand the changes, but it seemed a bit more science-fiction than the rest of the grounded story.
By comparison, the added epilogue helps bring closure the book doesn’t necessarily. We’re able to see what becomes of this team we’ve been invested in for a couple hours, which essentially ties the bow on the story in a nice way, whereas the book had a more sudden end that left me thinking I was missing a few pages.
##Conclusion Overall, this is science-fiction at it’s best. While remaining grounded and practical the process of Watney’s struggle to survive isolated and alone without proper support on a barren planet is a great depiction of the human spirit to surmount any obsticle at all costs.
Accompanied by visually stunning effects, you’ll quickly forget that this wasn’t actually filmed on Mars making this movie definitely one to see in theaters.
##The Score 4 / 5