The Martian

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The central thesis of the film is conveniently explained by the main character in the last scene: when things go horribly wrong you just have to start by solving one problem, and then another, etc. Mark obviously follows that course, but we also see it from the crew during the final rescue.

It’s a story about using everything at your disposal and doing the impossible. While I do find that inspiring at times, I’m more interested in finding that initial motivation when things are the most dire. We get a moment of that when he first realizes he’s been left behind. But, a few minutes (of film time) later Mark says out loud "I’m not going to die here" and gets to work. I want more of that in-between time! Films like Cast Away and even Gravity give more time to overcoming those "why go on" moments.

But, I don’t think that’s what the story was really about. It’s more like the best escape room in the solar system. I used to love arguing about physics hypotheticals and I’m pretty sure this would have been my favorite movie ever at that time.