Pros and cons of box office hit, The Martian

The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon, has done phenomenal in the box office and it isn’t hard to see why. The movie dominated during September opening weekend and continued on an upscale in October, generating an estimated $11.7 million over Halloween weekend. In a five-week period, the total cumulative earnings came to about a whopping $183.1 million.

After a planned aerospace mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is believed to be dead after a violent storm tears through and separates Watney from the rest of the group. He is alive but struggles to survive. He then is left with no choice but to use his snarky humor and quick wittedness while trying to figure out how to make it out alive and get a signal out to Earth.

When I saw the movie opening weekend, I had my doubts. Would it be a typical “man trying to survive alone” type of movie? Would it be more of a thriller or a comedy? Was it possible for it to have both (like the Avenger’s saga) and still succeed?

The beginning was very slow and sort of hard to get into. It came across as a typical “how did I get here? Let me tell you from the beginning” type of scenario. It didn’t help that most of the film pans were of him on the planet alone as this went on. Although it was dragging on a bit, the movie did a wonderful job of not sounding too much like we’re listening to someone read a story.

The middle was where things picked up and the audience is really able to get a sense of Damon’s character. There were more jokes thrown in (some raunchy, some cliché, and some amazing one liners), more intimate moments (like seeing his mental health decline from isolation, talking to himself in web videos, being in on his thoughts and feelings), and back drop on the characters.

I loved the way it started off in a sequence that left the viewer wanting more; nothing was ever revealed completely. It was as if the director wanted us to feel like we knew a secret but still in a way, feeling like there was more, like we were out of the loop.

Overall, Matt Damon was able to bring life and humor to an overall depressing and tragic movie. I believe having an amazing supporting cast (like rapper and actor Donald Glover or Childish Gmabino), Jessica Chastain (Jurastic Park), and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaides), helped make the movie complete in essence and storytelling.

Pros:

  • The Humor is actually good.
  • The overall plot is very good.
  • The focus shifts a lot so it’s not just about him being alone in space but rather him as a person, a little bit of his life before, what his crew mates are like, and what’s going on back home during the time he’s gone.

Cons:

  • The movie is long; about two and a half hours.
  • Some slow, dragged on moments, especially at the beginning.
  • The humor can sometimes come across as cliché.


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