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The Martian Blu-ray Review

martianDirector: Ridley Scott

Adapted by Drew Goddard, based on the novel by Andy Weir

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña

Special Features: Signal Acquired: Writing and Direction, Occupy Mars: Casting and Costumes,5 Theatrical In-World Pieces (Ares III: Farewell, The Right Stuff, Ares: Our Greatest Adventure, Leave Your Mark, Bring Him Home), Ares III: Refocused, Production Gallery, Theatrical Trailer.

Andy Weir’s novel The Martian was a cracking read and, when announced, Drew Goddard’s adaptation for the big screen was an exciting prospect, especially once Ridley Scott was involved followed by Matt Damon in the lead role of Mark Watney, the man accidentally left behind on Mars. Does this film version find that fine line between being faithful to the source material and create its own movie world as well? It does, and most importantly it keeps the essence of the lead and that tension in the very vital final third.

To share the basics, The Martian focuses on a team of Astronauts on Mars who have to leave quickly when a raging storm hits. During the journey to the take-off spot, American astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after being hit by flying debris and left behind. But the truth is… Watney is still alive. Against all logical odds, he must find a way to contact Earth in the hope that scientists can work out a rescue to bring him home but also keep him alive in the process.

If you’re a little doubtful over whether a man could come up with the answers so quickly, in order to survive on Mars, don’t forget he’s a Botanist but also a very clever individual. If you also want to delve deeper into the book then you’ll learn there’s a huge collaboration of Science and Math that gets Watney to his decisions. For me, the film does jump to these plans very quickly but in its defence, if they start piling into the full plans of how he gets to certain conclusions, it would have been a two-parter.

Damon has all the charm and believability to bring Watney to life. While we watch him test out various experiments and make plans in order to survive, we’re with him all the way. The Martian isn’t just about his character though as there’s also the returning crew and NASA back on Earth planning a way to bring him home. The co-starring cast is a wonderful array of talent which includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Kristen Wiig and the legendary Sean Bean. The talent involved brings everything important to the screen and when you’re putting Ridley Scott in charge; he’s one man who really knows how to create a huge story, in both the visual and story sense.

In terms of adaptations, it’s not quite as perfect as Life of Pi but it does offer up all the adventure and more importantly keeps our lead character Watney likeable and one to root for. If you’re looking for a fine example of fun escapism, which is how I saw Scott’s Prometheus, then The Martian really is a lot of adventure with a balanced mixture of drama and humour to keep you holding on until the very end.

The Martian is available on Digital HD now, and on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD Monday 8 February.


Dan loves writing, film, music and photography. Originally from Devon, he did London for 4 years and now resides in Exeter. He also has a mild obsession with squirrels and cake. The latter being more of a hobby. Favourite movies include HIGH FIDELITY, ALMOST FAMOUS, ROXANNE, GOOD WILL HUNTING, JURASSIC PARK, too many Steve Martin films and Nolan's BATMAN universe. He can also be found on

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