Matt Damon's 'The Martian' Is Big on Buildup, Little Else
Last Friday night, local movie theaters were packed in anticipation for the space-thriller showing of Matt Damon's new film, "The Martian." The buzz was ridiculous. Regardless of the hype, I was planning on seeing the film. Who would I be kidding if I didn't see such a star-studded film that included Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels? I know, with a cast of that magnitude its got to be a must watch... but no.
Sorry to disappoint.
The Ridley Scott-directed "The Martian," based on Andy Weir's best-selling novel of the same name, follows astronaut Mark Watney as he struggles to survive when left behind on Mars.
The film fares well initially, with drama and a good build up. The protagonist's wit and charm via Damon is welcoming. However, with all of those ingredients, by the time the end credits roll, there's no satisfaction.
A big frustration from the Drew Goddard-penned film is the lack of strong setbacks. There are no moments that will have you on the edge of your seat like "Interstellar" and "Gravity." The only real obstacle is the premise of the film, which is getting Watney back home. Each hurdle he faces is predictable.
There's really not much character development other than Watney's. We're given bits and pieces, but not enough. The biggest frustration is the mysterious love-relationship between Kate Mara's character Beth Johanssen and Sebastian Stan's Chris Beck. The only attention brought to this is a goodbye wave and a kiss on Beck's helmet, which is so frustrating because there is little-to-no additional insight into their lives.
There's buzz surrounding a potential Best Picture nomination for this film, and I'm not sure I totally agree. Watching "The Martian" was like going up on the most feared, deadly rollercoaster of all time and finding out there's no drop.
Khalid Moalim is a student at Ohio State University and a contributor to Moviefone's Campus Beat.