Hello Mars – The Martian – Movie Review

TheMartianMoviePosterThe poster says November but yeah it definitely is out now. The plot about the movie comes straight from Wikipedia, I’m on a bit of a time crunch right now. The movie is amazing. If you have time, need a movie to see, this is the one. It runs roughly 2 and a half hours so know that before throwing it in somewhere, but it doesn’t feel like that.

“I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.” – Mark Watney


When the Ares III manned mission to Mars is hit by an intense storm, astronaut Mark Watney is lost and presumed dead. With the lives of her crew at stake, mission commander Melissa Lewis is forced to leave the planet, leaving Watney behind. Watney has survived with the destruction of his communications equipment. Unable to contact NASA, he uses his knowledge as a botanist to grow food within the mission’s artificial habitat, anticipating that he will need to survive for at least three years and journey to the landing site of Ares IV which already has some of its infrastructure on Mars. He keeps a series of video logs to maintain morale and begins to modify the habitat’s rover to make it capable of long journeys.

Reviewing satellite photos of Mars, NASA engineers Vincent Kapoor and Mindy Park realize that Watney has survived, and immediately start planning to establish contact. Fearing that Watney may die soon, NASA director Teddy Sanders orders them not to tell the rest of the Ares III crew aboard the Hermes. Watney locates the Pathfinder probe, defunct since 1997, and uses it to regain contact with Earth.

“I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the best botanist on the planet.” – Mark Watney

As Watney continues to grow his crops, crew supervisor Mitch Henderson and JPL director Bruce Ng formulate a plan to send a probe to Mars and resupply Watney to let him last the four years until Ares IV can reach him. As the launch date approaches, an increasingly optimistic Sanders authorizes them to tell the crew. Desperate to launch the probe quickly, mistakes are made and the probe explodes during the launch. Watney suffers his own disaster when the airlock on the habitat explosively decompresses, killing his crops and reducing his projected supply of food.

The China National Space Agency (CNSA) offers NASA a lifeline: a classified booster rocket that can carry a payload to Mars. They can send it to Mars, arriving barely in time to reach Watney, or follow astrodynamicist Rich Purnell’s plan to have the Hermes extend its mission, intercept the probe and recover Watney back on Mars. Sanders and Henderson clash over the best plan: while Sanders insists on sending the probe, Lewis and her crew force the issue by setting their craft into a gravitational slingshot back to Mars.

After seven months, Watney has driven all his key life support systems to the base of the Ares IV mission. Following instructions from Kapoor, he strips the Ares IV launch vehicle down to save weight, using his spacesuit to protect against the vacuum of space. As Lewis and the crew of Hermes orbit Mars, they launch the landing vehicle remotely, intending to intercept him in space. When Watney’s vehicle fails to achieve the altitude needed to intercept him, they improvise an explosive device to slow Hermes down without wasting fuel, by rupturing an airlock to release the ship’s atmosphere and generate thrust. Still too far away, Watney pierces his pressure suit in order to come close enough for Lewis to catch him in her MMU.

“I admit it’s fatally dangerous, but I’d get to fly around like Iron Man.” – Mark Watney

After returning to Earth, Watney begins “Day One” of his new life, taking up a position with NASA as an instructor for new candidates to the astronaut training program, emphasizing his own experiences as problem solving and creative engineering.


Sounds simple enough but trust me it isn’t. The movie is Watney basically talking to himself in his video journals until he figures out how to talk with NASA. It’s funny at times and it’s a great example of what someone would go through to survive in order to just make it home. The humor is placed beautifully and the tragic moments are too. You start to root for Watney and you start to wonder if you could do the same thing if you were in his position.

I give the movie 10 out of 10. Go see it.


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