Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Matt Damon is sensational. You know an actor has star power when you can watch him grow potatoes for two hours. (Imagine Keanu Reeves in the part and the movie loses $400 million.) Screenwriter Drew Goddard’s adaptation of Andy Weir’s book is both exciting and surprisingly funny. And director Ridley Scott returns to familiar territory, once again directing a movie set on Mars. (THELMA & LOUISE and HANNIBAL being the others.)
But if you want to get picky…
Yes, they say they took great care to ensure that the science was correct. And I’m sure some of it was. But again, if you wish to step back and really analyze it, you can find tiny holes in the plot and execution that the filmmakers obviously just glossed over in the name of “creative license.”
So just to show that every movie fudges with the truth, even boxoffice darlings, let me point out a few examples of why discerning moviegoers might have big problems with this film.
First of all, Mark (Damon’s character) got absolutely no help from the Martian people. You’re telling me that not one Martian would offer jumper cables or even a Mars bar? This alone almost ruined the movie for me.
They didn’t use Apple computers? Really?
Sean Bean played a high official at NASA. He was once a Bond villain. Don’t they do security checks?
When watching in 3D the Russet Potatoes don’t jump out at you.
He never celebrated Christmas. If he can grow potatoes, why not a tree? Uh, this is not a summer release, people.
You mean to say there were all these supplies on board but not one volleyball?
And finally, later in the movie Damon is wearing glasses. Why wasn’t her wearing them earlier? I saw the film at a WGA screening where screenwriter Goddard did a Q&A afterwards. And one fellow Guild member actually asked him that question. Why wasn’t he wearing glasses earlier? Suddenly my other quibbles don’t seem so far fetched, do they?
I recommend you see THE MARTIAN despite its glaring flaws.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM