The Martian is out-of-this-world good [Review]

The Martian is out-of-this-world good [Review]

Yes, go see it! The Martian is based on a bestselling novel by Andy Weir, and it delivers. This gripping space drama is much more than the sum of its parts. It breaks the mould of "tough guys win", focusing more on the "science" than the "fiction".

Matt Damon plays the feisty botanist Mark Watney who is part of a team exploring Mars. They have to abort their mission during a violent storm, but Mark is hit by an antennae and his team think he is dead. They head back to Earth, while Mark comes to the chilling realisation that he is the only living thing on Mars and any help is millions of miles away.

The Newsroom's Jeff Daniels plays Teddy Sanders, a Nasa boss who has to make the tough decisions everyone else doesn't want to make; when Nasa discovers Mark is still alive, Teddy has to face the harrowing reality that there is little that can be done to save him. There is no ship due to go to Mars and by the time it gets there, Mark will be long dead.

But while it seems like this story can only be a bummer, it's not just Mark dying while others wring their hands helplessly. Mark is refreshingly - genuinely - funny, and exceptionally clever.

In his own words, if he is going to survive he needs to "science the **** out of this". And he does, while facing life-threatening setbacks and soul-crushing defeats. Can the world unite to find a way to save just one man?

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Out of this world space drama

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