The Martian Continues Trend of Movies Falling Short to Their Book Counterparts

Promotional image for The Martian

October 2nd was the premier date of the greatly anticipated movie The Martian based off the science fiction novel of the same name by Andy Weir. While an excellent book and entertaining movie, the film fell a little short of expectations.

The Martian follows the story of Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, who is a NASA astronaut on a mission to Mars. In an unexpected dust storm, Watney is injured and left behind on Mars with the crew believing him to be dead.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, Watney isn’t dead but he is left stranded alone on Mars with no communication to Earth or his crew. Knowing that there is another mission coming to Mars in four years, Watney must figure out how to make his 400 days of food last that long.

From these, the story continues from the point of view of Watney’s personal logs detailing his attempts to grow potatoes and contact Earth.

The audience sees things both from Watney’s perspective, as he begins to go a little stir crazy, and the perspective of those on Earth, mourning him and then realizing he is still alive.

It is quite common for books to be better than their movie counterparts and The Martian was no different. The book was filled with witty comments and intense moments that made the reader feel like they were right there next to Watney.

The movie, while good, did not have the same kind of connection. Instead, it felt as though you were watching from Earth, a little detached and without as many funny one liners as the book included.

However, this does not mean that it is a bad movie and it is definitely worth seeing. All of the actors and actresses bring the characters to life in a riveting story. Notable actors include Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.

Paired with excellent music and stunning shots of Mars, or what Mars would theoretically look like, the story will please most audience members.

The science of The Martian is one of the best things about the entire movie because it all seems quite plausible, with one notable exception.

To avoid spoilers, the exception will not be mentioned but you will notice it immediately if you watch the movie. In general, everything scientific seems as though it is feasible, most of it with today’s technology, if not in the near future.

Overall, this is an excellent movie that is highly recommend for any science fiction lovers but if you have the chance, read the book before going to see it.

It is worth it for the extra insight into what is happening and a few more subtle humorous moments will jump out at you.




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