If you like colossal, steely-nerved efforts by the hero to overcome what appear by everyone to be impossible odds, you'll love "The Martian."
Matt Damon, as stranded astronaut Mark Watney, struggles to survive on the icy-cold, barren surface of Mars after his fellow crew members scrambled to evacuate before a killer Martian storm wrecked their space craft, and Watney was presumed dead during the chaos after being struck and carried off into the wasteland by blowing debris.
Watney survived, miraculously. With only his training as a botanist, and McGuiver-esque ability to solve never ending life threatening problems one after the other with duct tape and tarps, Watney mounts his heroic effort to live. In order to keep the meager survival assets brought by the initial mission together, Watney clings to life tenuously while the entire global community back on Earth mobilized every asset conceivable to mount a rescue.
The technical merits of the film can't be topped to date: the views of the bleak Martian surface truly take the audience into the experience, and the whole effect of Watney's dire circumstances are made real by the director Ridley Scott of "Gladiator" and "Alien" fame.
The triumphant ending stirred a roar of applause in my theater, and I found myself among the admirers, reveling in the 'feel good' movie of the year; watching "The Martian" makes you wonder if there is absolutely nothing that can't be overcome with determination, guts and duct tape.
You gotta see 'The Martian.' What a film.
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