Get red-dy for laughs

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

ONE of the most pleas­ant sur­prises this year is dis­cov­er­ing The Mar­tian is a space com­edy.

Play­ing down the ten­sion one would ex­pect from the set up, Ri­d­ley Scott’s film, based on the book of the same name, is a laugh riot.

We al­ready had San­dra Bul­lock des­per­ately fight­ing the odds to get home in Grav­ity, so it is re­fresh­ing a sim­i­lar story (man stranded in space) takes a dif­fer­ent tack.

Botanist Mark What­ney (Damon) is left be­hind on Mars by his fel­low crew­mates when a vi­cious storm hits and he is be­lieved dead.

With only a few months’ worth of food and four years un­til the next sched­uled mis­sion, he has to fig­ure out a way to com­mu­ni­cate with NASA, grow food in a place that does not sup­port life and hope dis­as­ter does not strike again.

Mean­while, NASA staff (played by Daniels, Wiig, Ejio­for and oth­ers) try to fig­ure out a way to bring him home.

Some may be dis­ap­pointed at the lack of char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment (we learn noth­ing about What­ney and how this or­deal af­fects him psy­cho­log­i­cally) but that is why this is a fun romp while also be­ing a cel­e­bra­tion of science.

The film never gets bogged down in the de­press­ing drama of the dire sit­u­a­tion.

What­ney main­tains his sense of hu­mour as does his crew, with whom he shares an amus­ing rap­port.

Matt Damon plays botanist Mark What­ney in Ri­d­ley Scott’s The Mar­tian.

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