“The Martian” Review

“Everywhere I go, I’m the first. Step outside the rover? First guy ever to be there! Climb a hill? First guy to climb that hill.”
“The Martian,” by Andy Weir, tells the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars after his crew blasts off from the planet, as they presume him dead after a ravaging windstorm. Botanist and astronaut, Mark Watney, must then use his wits and cleverness to find a way to save himself and contact Earth.
Published as his first novel in 2011, Weir—a former software engineer—did extensive research on the principles of botany, orbital mechanics and conditions of Mars to make “The Martian” truly a masterpiece. His first novel was so popular that a film of the same name based on the book, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, was released by 20th Century Fox in 2015. The movie encapsulates what it is like to be alone on Mars, with shots of the surrounding landscape that make it seem as if you were in the shoes of Watney.
The film does a superb job of eliminating much of the technical jargon in the novel, making it more straightforward to understand for someone not as interested in the specific technicalities of chemical reactions, for example. And while many films based on novels stray from content, “The Martian”—directed by Ridley Scott—does an excellent job at sticking to the important details while keeping Watney’s wits and sense of humor on full display. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, it was a huge success, grossing over $630 million worldwide. The suspense and humor kept my eyes glued to the screen at every step. Easy to understand compared to the novel and just as captivating, “The Martian” should be considered one of the top science fiction films alongside “Interstellar” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.”