The Martian (2015)
MacGyver in space — that’s an accurate description of this movie about an astronaut who is left behind on Mars and has to get crafty to survive. And just like MacGyver, you may enjoy The Martian most for the protagonist’s impressive resourcefulness and wit in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation — all the while knowing that he will be okay in the end.
Matt Damon plays Watkins, a stand-up guy with a can-do attitude and good-natured humor, who isn’t afraid to stick it to the bureaucrats at NASA. His character is so unapologetically American, it’s not surprising the movie was overwhelmingly well-received by its U.S. critics and audience.
Had it been made a few years earlier, I probably would have loved it too. But these days I cannot help but compare it to Interstellar, which is so much more cerebral, or Gravity, which really took advantage of its setting in outer space as a stylistic device.
Don’t get me wrong, The Martian is great fun, and you will get your money’s worth, but it’s not what I would call visionary. And isn’t that what good sci-fi should be all about?
Also: Matt Damon, get it together!