Ridley Scott’s new movie The Martian isn’t as faithful to Andy Weir’s bestselling novel as it is to the science that underpins the book.It’s hard to find any other science-fiction film that has stuck so faithfully to the practival challenges of living and surviving in space since Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13.”
The film manages to create a cinematic experience, and a riveting plot based on the idea that man can survive on Mars as long as he’s done the math.It sounds dry, but Ridley Scott pulls it off with majesty.
During a month-long mission on Mars, the five-man crew of Ares 3 encounters a megastorm they didn’t plan for, and the team is called home. The craft’s commander in-chief Mellisa Lewis orders an emergency evacuation. In the process, Mark Watney, one of the five crew members gets impaled by a flying communications antenna. Lost in the storm his fellow crewmen leave him behind for dead.
NASA chief Teddy Sanders, played by Jeff Daniels, announces Mark Watney’s death to the media. His fellow crewmen and guilt-ridden commander mourn his loss; the only problem is that Watney is very much alive. But the question is: for how long?
Based on the food and water the crew left behind, Watney figures he has supplies for 31 days, and unfortunately, thanks to the storm he has no way to make contact with NASA ground control.But the movie, which is a celebration of human ingenuity, makes this just another challenge for Watney, an ingenious, scientist specializing in botany. The determined loner simply decides to survive and hatches a plan to grow food and water on a barren, dusty planet where nothing grows.
Meanwhile he is working on establishing alternative methods of communication with Earth. When he finally reaches NASA, and a rescue plan is hatched news still remain bleak. He has to survive a whole year before help arrives.