Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Martian - Book vs. Movie

I came, I conquered, I finally belatedly watched The Martian! I've been ill so it seemed like a good time. Also, exams are coming and who wants to study?

Mars is the prettiest part about this film (especially since the
CGI isn't all that amazing)
The Martian (directed by Ridley Scott) stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, a botanist whom his crew on the Ares III mission accidentally leaves on Mars, thinking that he's dead after he's hit by a dust storm. He now has to survive hundreds of sols alone in a Hab only meant to last for 31 and make his way home with no means to contact any other human beings. We also see NASA and stuff every now and then.

It's a pity to say, but the pacing of the movie felt way off. Where's all the hard work that goes into escaping a planet? Yeah, I know, it's not as interesting as the stuff that was included. But what about all the stuff that is just happily left unexplained? There's dozens of times in the movie that we skips twenty sols or so - fair enough, they were probably less important - but then we see Watney do some random stuff that probably has something to do with the Great Escape, without much explanation what he's actually doing or why. I was lost a lot of time even though I had read the book (almost a year ago, granted), so I can't imagine what it's like to watch him tape some stuff or rip the Hab apart when you really don't know why he decided to do just that. Especially since in the book, it all makes so much sense! Reading the actual book, I feel like I can understand his every motive and I appreciate that.

Mark Watney is a solve it all -kind of a guy. He knows lots of stuff about machinery and elements and all that, and he's motivated to actually make it out alive. My favourite part about Watney in the book is that he's incredibly optimistic at the face of anything and everything. It's even mentioned that it's the reason he was put on Ares III to begin with - he gets along with people and lightens the atmosphere. In the movie though, it's obvious that Hollywood decided it's better if we see Matt Damon frown constantly and mope around whenever he's not doing anything (and even when he is).

Spoilers aside, the movie also ends somewhat later than the book, a fact I did not enjoy. I mean, when they had to cut all that important stuff out, why did they decide this was worth being added? Priorities, off, if you ask me (not that you did, really).

That being said, the movie deals with the main media of the book rather well. The book is written almost completely in journal entries Mark types on a computer - instead the movie shows him making a video log. That works quite well and I appreciate it because I was worried it would kind of suck on the silver screen.

Altogether, I heavily recommend reading the book if you're interested in pretty realistic adventures on Mars. But if some pretty well filmed space mishaps are more your thing, find a copy of this movie. It's not badly made (though it's not as good, either). Thank you @Alex for convincing me to read/watch this!

Fun fact of the day (I really hope someone somewhere finds this at least half as interesting as I do): Most of the movie is filmed in a Jordanian desert and Jordan thought it was so cool they even used it to promote tourism. That's pretty darn cute. "Literally out of this world." Maybe one day I'll go to Mars then.


  1. Ah you finally watched the movie, excellent :D

  2. Watch The Martian online free on zmovie now. I really looked forward to this movie. High score both on IMDb and rotten, so all lights seem to be green....but the score has to be influenced by the studio as it goes almost every time with 'big' movies last few years. Mediocre or worse movies scoring like masterpieces :-(. Everything positive you read about this movie you can safely wipe from memory. Only two positive points: nice 'spaceshots' and a few moments of good acting from Damon. Too few to make the story believable or to really care about his character. It's what I would call a 100% Hollywood movie. Cliché-filled and therefor to forget asap...but then again that's just me.. you may like it. See more:

  3. Watch The Martian online free on losmovies very good. I was somewhat disappointed by 'The Martian', maybe because I had such high expectations of it. In my opinion the movie failed to really immerse you into the action or make you feel the danger of space, the way that for example 'Gravity' did.

    Also, it came across as feel-good NASA propaganda. Maybe that one is on me for being so cynical, I am not sure. The attempts at humor never made me laugh and sometimes made me feel embarrassed. I am not saying that it is a bad movie. I liked its realistic and scientific approach. There should be more sci-fi movies done in such an earnest way. However, in my experience 'The Martian' does not succeed in truly captivating or intriguing you. See more: watch Avengers Infinity War online