The Martian (2015)


An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

The people who watch this film can be classed into two categories: those who have read the book first and those who haven’t.

I come in the former category and can honestly say that this was a decent adaptation. However, there were three key events that were missed out from the film: where Watney loses communication with NASA after blowing up the comms system with a drill, the dust storm that prevents him recharging his solar panels and when he is approaching his final destination and the Rover runs into some problems with the sand dunes.

I’ve seen enough book-to-film adaptations to know that films ALWAYS miss out stuff and are never a word-for-word adaptation but my befuddlement this time around is that the aforementioned three events provide copious amounts of drama in the book and I would have thought they would have wanted to include them in the film. Maybe a case of Hollywood thinking if too many things go wrong for Watney the cinema-going public would lose hope / roll their eyes??

One of my favourite scenes in the film has to be the whole “Council of Elrond” at NASA.  Having Sean Bean there was just such a wonderful inside joke.  And Jeff Daniel’s comment was just so Will from The Newsroom-like:

If we are going to have a secret project called “Elrond”, then I want my code name to be “Glorfindel”.

I think if I hadn’t read the book first, I may have found the film a bit boring, especially the first half. The book is definitely more thrilling and it’s more exciting to be able to use your own imagination in this setting. So overall a good attempt but needless to say Matt Damon has done much more thrilling stuff.


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