Matt Damon is stranded astronaut Mark Watney in The Martian.

Reel Reviews: The Martian stands alone

Reviewers Taylor and Howe say: "The Martian gets lucky."

  • Oct. 11, 2015 3:00 p.m.

When a storm threatens a team of astronauts on Mars, they depart quickly, leaving a man behind,  believing him to be dead.

Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is a botanist who must figure out how to survive on Mars the many months it will take to mount any rescue.

We say, “The Martian gets lucky.”

TAYLOR: America’s favourite guy to forget about is back. Everyman wannabe Matt Damon is his usual charming self as our stranded botanist astronaut. He’s completely unoffensive even when trying to be.  Damon has acted well before. In this picture he’s an ordinary Joe on Mars. The setting of the film is the star. Ridley Scott could have had a wet paper bag as the astronaut.

I’d still recommend you see it. In fact, you could replace the entire cast with paper bags. That’s why The Martian gets lucky: cool story, capable people, no-brainer.

HOWE: The Martian is the space rescue movie that Gravity should have been. From the opening scene, which is fast and frantic, it had me hooked.

I would agree with you that Damon isn’t the greatest of actors, but he always delivers; maybe that is down to the script, the movie itself or maybe just maybe, he has a little talent.

In The Martian, Damon has some qualities along the lines of Tom Hanks in Castaway, but I would say that Hanks pulls off the one-man show just slightly better. I took my little boy, who is now eight, to watch it and apart from the odd swear word, it is family friendly. So let’s see what he thought of it:

FENIN: I loved it, Dad. It had some really funny bits in it. The part where he had to plant the potatoes in the poo to make them grow – it was really gross but I was laughing. Then he had to eat them. That’s just nasty.

TAYLOR: It was almost cool, almost funny, almost amazing, but still feels disposable, sort of a cookie-cutter Hollywood blockbuster. Still, it’s a very healthy and entertaining evening’s entertainment.

I’m not going to pick it apart for its faults but rather be underwhelmed by its strengths. I still enjoyed the film, as did my wife. I just wanted something a little more substantial.

Taylor gives The Martian 3.5 untethered spacewalks out of 5.

– Fenin gives it 4 poo potatoes out of 5.

– Howe gives it 4 space glove rides out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films every Friday and Sunday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GALLERY: Vernon painter captures beauty of Davison Orchards in new series

In a new painting, card series, artist Patricia Lawton was inspired by resident dog, Harlow

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Car show a hit at Vernon retirement resort

GALLERY: No drooling over the classic cruisers parked at Parkwood Retirement Resort

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter

Nicola Sanders hopes to spread the word to get Nala home to her son, the rightful owner

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

Most Read