Der Marsianer: Rettet Mark Watney (2015)

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Der Marsianer: Rettet Mark Watney: Directed by Ridley Scott. With Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels. An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

“I heard a lot about this film regarding its scientific validity as a piece of fiction. Perhaps as a result of this I assumed that the film would be a dry affair – an impression sort of confirmed by the longer than normal running time. As it happens, this is not the case at all because The Martian has much more in common with the entertaining blockbuster that the starry cast list and presentation suggest it will be. The story wears its science very much on its sleeve, but yet makes it accessible and fun – with the slick presentation making it so. As a result everything seems to be explained with everyday objects, and even the most complex principles are presented in simple terms (references to Iron Man for instance). As a result the film gets to have its cake and eat it – although the film is helped by the knowledge of a lot of this being possible (eg hitting a point near Pluto recently with very tight tolerances on a journey of years).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe film itself doesnu0026#39;t really play up the drama in a heavy way, but rather does enough to invest the viewer in it without making it too much of a downer or serious. The soundtrack is hugely upbeat, the content is mostly light in tone, and the science is delivered in a very user-friendly fashion – essentially in the service of the tone and the entertainment value, nothing more than this. The starry cast add to this feeling, and use their screen presence well. Damon is consistently likable, which is just as well since he is alone in the vast majority of his scenes. The ensemble cast has a lot of depth to it, all of which are solidly watchable – Chastain, Wiig, Daniels, Eiofor, Peña, Bean, and so on. The Chinese aspects of the plot serves as another reminder that this film is a blockbuster out to make money, but it doesnu0026#39;t seem too out of place. Technically it looks great and it impressive how convincing the surface of Mars looks.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn the end we get to the fist-pumping mission control scenes that we all knew were coming, but along the way the film is slickly packaged and entertaining as a result; even if the oft-mentioned scientific validity of it all is not something it ever seems concerned with itself.”

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