This film is based on a novel by Andy Weir. NASA has sent a manned mission to Mars and the crew quickly leaves during an intense storm. They believe Mark Watney is dead after an antenna strikes him and there is a no response signal from his space suit. A piece of the antenna pierced his suit and went into his abdomen but he wakes up alive. He is stranded and alone with meager supplies. He is a botanist and he challenges the hostile planet to prevent him from growing food. He sets up an indoor farm to grow potatoes and he has a great crop. He must find a way to signal Earth that he is alive. NASA and Mark rig up a way for him to communicate and they begin to prepare a probe that will send supplies to him before a rescue can reach him. It becomes a complicated back and forth discussion. Can they get supplies to him in time, should the crew of the Hermes spaceship return to get him and extend their mission? Time is of the essence, Mars is far away and it will take time for any plan to reach Mark.
The scenery is very unusual and the equipment left on Mars is complex. It seems as if this adventure is really happening to Mark and everything is very interesting. His methods of making what he has work for him are very good. He feels he can’t give up and he needs to extend everything he has and make more of anything he can. I didn’t expect this film to draw me into the story so well. I thought this was just Matt Damon sitting on Mars and waiting? 4* (I really liked this movie)
144 min, Adventure directed by Ridley Scott with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover, Nick Mohammed, Shu Chen.
Note: Imdb 8.1 out of 10, 92% critic 92% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 11,814 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Wadi Rum, Jordan; Etyek, Budapest, Hungary; Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The text on the computer screen when the Hermes crew and Mark have their first conversation has a display like Mother, the computer on Alien of 1979 also directed by Ridley Scott.