His last great performance was the 2012 Prometheus, but The Martian marks Ridley Scott’s triumphant return. Trying to bring to the silver screen some of the lost magic of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Scott manages to delight the public once more with one of his best space movies to date.
The Martian follows in a somewhat funny manner the story of Mark Watney, played here by Matt Damon, a botanist that has been left stranded on Mars by the team he was part of, when they decide to make their way home to Earth, after they lose technical contact with him.
He quickly realizes that, even if his messages will somehow reach his mother planet and a rescue party will be sent for him by NASA, it will take years until they physically reach him. Therefore, he shrewdly calculates his food rations and, as another means of sustenance, starts growing potatoes, using manure.
In the end, of course NASA receives signs from the stranded botanist and sends out a searching party. This particular turn of events represents the idea that sprung the whole of the internet to comically observe this is yet another movie where Matt Damon needs to be saved, after Saving Private Ryan and Interstellar.
Hollywood directors seem to think that, just as Sean Bean needs to die in every movie he stars in, so does Matt Damon needs to be saved in every movie he makes. One of these directors is Ridley Scott, who manages to keep up with the tradition and delivers us a beautiful third movie about saving Matt Damon. The Martian marks Ridley Scott’s triumphant return.
It’s a space flick with a humorous tone, adapted from a book, with a pleiad of great actors, stunning shots of our galaxy, it actually contains no “space movie” cliches, it presents a touch of desolation, as the main character tries not to dive into the desperation of having been left alone on Mars, drama and suspense are obviously present, as the situation requires them and its soundtrack is made up of 70s tunes.
All of these are the marks of the great director Ridley Scott clearly is. After the worldwide success of the Alien franchise, after its prequel Prometheus and before its sequel, Alien: Paradise Lost, The Martian is definitely one to keep us in the space movie-game, at least until 2016, when Alien 5 is directed towards us.