‘The Martian’ a Thrilling, Inspirational Journey

Robert Davis, Editor

Stranded and alone on an empty planet with nothing but your wits and resourcefulness. This is the basis for the “The Martian,” directed by Ridley Scott and adapted from the novel by Andy Weir. Astronaut Mark Watney, left on Mars after a sandstorm forces his team off the red planet, is up against impossible odds.

Suspenseful, thrilling and inspirational are just a few words to describe “The Martian.” Watney’s ability under stress is something anyone can find inspirational. The character copes with stress through humor.

Although the movie is serious, the timing of the humor is perfect. Actor Matt Damon captures this part of Watney perfectly. While the crew of the Ares 3 and the workers at NASA were not developed very much, that makes sense since the story is about Watney.   

If you are a science nerd and have not seen this movie or read the book, you need to.

The book did a better job than the film with the characters, but both did an outstanding job. Another word to describe this story is smart.  Weir used to work as a software engineer. He brings his own knowledge of science into the story. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson applauds the movie for its scientific accuracy. For the most part, the base science is accurate, although the truth does become distorted in parts.

The most discussed example of this is the violence of the dust storm in the beginning. In reality, dust storms are nowhere near as violent on Mars as they are portrayed in the film. The novel went into much greater detail than the movie, but that holds true for almost all novel-to-movie adaptions.

art by Hunter Mulloy
art by Hunter Mulloy

Questions that always come up: “Is the book better than the movie, and how different is it?” For me, the book is better because I enjoy reading about science. The book also explained the motives of the characters more than the film. There was also a pretty large portion towards the end of the novel that the movie left out, but I won’t spoil it.

Another question that comes up is, “How does this movie compare to ‘Interstellar’?” They are two completely different types of films, and the similarities end with the fact that they take place in space.

I recommend both versions of “The Martian.” The movie is also great for almost all ages, although some of it may be too mature for younger children.  If you are a science nerd and have not seen this movie or read the book, you need to.