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Waylon Watson
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Scrap Man Martian Military Transport: A Steam Workshop Creation

Man Of The Martian: A Review of the 2015 Sci-Fi Movie

If you are a fan of science fiction, you have probably heard of or seen The Martian, a 2015 movie directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars. Based on a novel by Andy Weir, the movie was a critical and commercial success, earning seven Academy Award nominations and over $600 million at the box office. But what makes this movie so special and enjoyable? In this article, we will review The Martian and discuss its plot, realism, humor, themes, and message.

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What is the movie about?

The Martian is a sci-fi movie that tells the story of Mark Watney, a botanist and engineer who is part of a six-member crew on a mission to Mars. During a violent storm, Watney is hit by debris and presumed dead by his teammates, who are forced to abort the mission and leave him behind. However, Watney survives and finds himself alone on a hostile planet with limited resources and no way to contact Earth. He must use his ingenuity and skills to survive and find a way to signal for help.

Who are the main actors and director?

The movie features an impressive cast of actors, led by Matt Damon as Mark Watney. Damon delivers a captivating performance as a witty, optimistic, and resourceful protagonist who faces one challenge after another with courage and humor. The supporting cast includes Jessica Chastain as Melissa Lewis, the commander of Watney's crew; Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, the director of NASA; Chiwetel Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor, the director of Mars missions; Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose, the director of media relations; Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson, the flight director; Michael Peña as Rick Martinez, Watney's pilot; Kate Mara as Beth Johanssen, Watney's computer specialist; Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck, Watney's physician; Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel, Watney's chemist; Benedict Wong as Bruce Ng, the director of jet propulsion laboratory; Donald Glover as Rich Purnell, an astrodynamicist; and Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park, a satellite planner.

The movie was directed by Ridley Scott, one of the most acclaimed and influential filmmakers in sci-fi genre. Scott is known for his visionary style and attention to detail in creating immersive worlds and stories. Some of his previous works include Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Prometheus, and Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Why is it worth watching?

The Martian is a movie that appeals to a wide range of audiences, from sci-fi fans to general moviegoers. It is a movie that combines thrilling action, stunning visuals, smart humor, and emotional drama. It is a movie that celebrates the human spirit, the power of science, and the importance of cooperation. It is a movie that makes you laugh, cry, and cheer. It is a movie that inspires you to dream big and never give up.

Plot Summary

How does Mark Watney get stranded on Mars?

The movie begins with the crew of Ares III, a manned mission to Mars, landing on the planet and setting up a habitat called the Hab. On the sixth day of their 31-day mission, they are hit by a powerful dust storm that threatens to damage their escape vehicle, the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The crew decides to evacuate and head to the MAV, but on their way, Watney is struck by a flying antenna and knocked out of sight. His vital signs are lost and his suit's biomonitor is damaged. Lewis tries to look for him, but the storm is too strong and the MAV is about to tip over. Reluctantly, she orders the rest of the crew to board the MAV and leave Mars without Watney.

Watney wakes up after the storm and finds himself alone on Mars with a piece of antenna embedded in his abdomen. He manages to remove it and treat his wound at the Hab. He then realizes that he has no way to communicate with Earth or his crew, who think he is dead. He also calculates that he has enough food for only 300 days, while the next mission to Mars, Ares IV, will arrive in four years. He decides to "science the shit out of this" and find a way to survive.

How does he survive and communicate with Earth?

Watney's first challenge is to grow more food on a planet where nothing grows. He uses his knowledge as a botanist and engineer to create a makeshift farm inside the Hab, using Martian soil, human feces, water extracted from hydrazine, and potatoes saved for Thanksgiving. He also burns some hydrazine to make water and oxygen. He manages to grow enough potatoes to extend his food supply for over a year.

Watney's next challenge is to contact Earth and let them know he is alive. He remembers that there is an old Pathfinder probe that landed on Mars in 1997 and has a camera and a transmitter. He drives a rover to locate the probe and brings it back to the Hab. He then modifies the rover and the Hab's communication system to send and receive signals from Pathfinder. He establishes contact with NASA, who are shocked and overjoyed to see him alive.

Watney and NASA communicate by using simple text messages, since there is a 24-minute delay between Mars and Earth. NASA sends him instructions on how to modify his rover and suit for longer trips, how to hack the Hab's software to enable video chat, and how to access an orbital satellite called Hermes for more data. Watney also receives messages from his crew, who apologize for leaving him behind and express their support.

How does NASA plan to rescue him?

NASA faces many challenges and dilemmas in planning Watney's rescue. They have to balance public opinion, media pressure, political interference, budget constraints, ethical issues, and technical difficulties. They also have to deal with internal conflicts among their staff and with Watney's crew.

Their initial plan is to send a supply probe called Iris with enough food for Watney to survive until Ares IV arrives at Mars in four years. However, due to haste and lack of testing, the probe explodes during launch. NASA then considers sending another supply probe called Taiyang Shen from China, but it will not arrive in time for Watney.

A young astrodynamicist named Rich Purnell comes up with an alternative plan: instead of sending Taiyang Shen directly to Watney, they can use it to resupply Watney's crew on Hermes, who are on their way back to Earth. Then they can use a gravity assist maneuver around Earth to slingshot Hermes back to Mars without landing. This way, they can reach Watney sooner and pick him up using the Ares IV's MAV, which is already pre-positioned at another site on Mars called Schiaparelli crater.

This plan, however, has many risks and drawbacks: it will extend the crew's mission by another year; it will require them to cannibalize parts of their ship; it will expose them to more radiation; it will depend on Watney's ability to travel 3200 Continuing the article: What are the challenges and risks along the way?

Watney and his rescuers face many obstacles and dangers throughout the movie. Some of them are caused by nature, such as dust storms, solar flares, and cold temperatures. Some of them are caused by human error, such as miscalculations, malfunctions, and accidents. Some of them are caused by bad luck, such as unexpected events and coincidences. Here are some examples of the challenges and risks they encounter:

  • Watney's airlock explodes, destroying part of his farm and reducing his oxygen supply.

  • Watney's rover flips over during a sandstorm, damaging his communication equipment and solar panels.

  • Watney's drill breaks while he is trying to dig up the radioactive plutonium that powers his heater.

  • Watney's suit gets punctured by a sharp rock while he is transferring his supplies to the Ares IV's MAV.

  • NASA's supply probe Iris explodes during launch due to a faulty valve.

  • The Hermes crew has to perform a dangerous spacewalk to catch the Taiyang Shen probe.

  • The Ares IV's MAV has to be modified and lightened to reach the Hermes' orbit.

  • The Hermes has to perform a high-speed flyby of Mars and use its thrusters to slow down enough to catch Watney.

  • Watney has to use a tarp and duct tape to seal the nose of the MAV and use a hole in his glove to steer it.

  • Watney has to be caught by Lewis using a tethered MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit) while both are moving at high speeds.

Analysis and Criticism

How realistic is the movie's depiction of Mars and space travel?

The Martian is widely praised for its scientific accuracy and realism in portraying Mars and space travel. The movie is based on extensive research by Andy Weir, who consulted with experts from NASA, JPL, and other institutions. The movie also consulted with NASA advisors and used real data and images from Mars missions. The movie depicts many aspects of Mars and space travel accurately, such as:

  • The terrain, atmosphere, gravity, and weather of Mars.

  • The design, function, and operation of the Hab, the rover, the MAV, the Hermes, and other spacecrafts.

  • The physics, mathematics, engineering, and chemistry involved in Watney's survival and rescue.

  • The procedures, protocols, and challenges of NASA and other space agencies.

  • The psychological, physical, and emotional effects of isolation, stress, and danger on astronauts.

However, the movie also takes some artistic liberties and simplifies or exaggerates some aspects of Mars and space travel for the sake of drama or convenience. Some examples are:

  • The dust storm that strands Watney is much stronger than what would actually happen on Mars, where the air pressure is too low to create such forceful winds.

  • The communication delay between Mars and Earth is sometimes ignored or shortened for narrative purposes.

  • The gravity assist maneuver that slingshots Hermes back to Mars is more complicated and risky than what is shown in the movie.

  • The explosion that launches Watney into space is unrealistic and would likely kill him or damage his suit.

  • The catch that Lewis makes with her MMU is improbable and would require incredible precision and timing.

How does the movie balance humor and drama?

The Martian is not a typical sci-fi movie that relies on dark tones, gloomy visuals, or grim themes. Instead, it is a movie that balances humor and drama in a way that makes it more engaging, relatable, and uplifting. The movie uses humor as a tool to lighten the mood, create contrast, develop characters, and convey messages. The movie uses drama as a tool to create tension, suspense, conflict, emotion, and resolution. The movie blends humor and drama seamlessly throughout its scenes. Some examples are:

  • Watney's video logs are full of jokes, sarcasm, pop culture references, and self-deprecation that show his personality and coping mechanism.

  • NASA's media relations director Annie Montrose (Kristen Wiig) provides comic relief with her reactions and comments to the situations and decisions made by NASA.

  • The Hermes crew has a playful and friendly rapport that shows their camaraderie and loyalty. They also have moments of seriousness and sadness that show their concern and guilt for Watney.

  • Watney's communication with NASA and his crew is often humorous and witty, but also reveals his desperation and loneliness.

  • The movie uses music to create contrast and irony, such as when Watney listens to disco songs that he hates but are the only ones available, or when the Hermes crew plays David Bowie's \"Starman\" as they prepare to rescue Watney.

How does the movie explore themes of isolation, resilience, and teamwork?

The Martian is a movie that explores various themes that are relevant and meaningful to the human condition. Some of the main themes are isolation, resilience, and teamwork. The movie explores these themes through the characters, the plot, and the message. Here are some examples of how the movie explores these themes:

  • Isolation: The movie shows the effects of isolation on Watney, who is separated from his crew, his family, his friends, and his planet. He has to deal with loneliness, boredom, fear, and uncertainty. He also has to rely on himself and his skills to survive. The movie also shows how isolation affects his crew, who feel guilty and responsible for leaving him behind. They also have to endure a long and stressful journey back to Earth.

  • Resilience: The movie shows the resilience of Watney, who refuses to give up despite the overwhelming odds against him. He faces one problem after another with courage and humor. He uses his scientific knowledge and creativity to overcome them. He also maintains his optimism and hope for rescue. The movie also shows the resilience of his crew, who decide to risk their lives and careers to go back for him. They also overcome many difficulties and dangers along the way.

  • Teamwork: The movie shows the teamwork of Watney, who works with NASA and his crew to find a way to communicate and coordinate his rescue. He follows their instructions and suggestions, but also makes his own decisions when necessary. He also expresses his gratitude and appreciation for their efforts. The movie also shows the teamwork of NASA and other space agencies, who work together to find a solution for Watney's situation. They share their resources, expertise, and ideas. They also face ethical and political dilemmas that test their integrity and commitment.

What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of the movie?

The Martian is a movie that has many strengths and few weaknesses. Some of the strengths are:

  • The performance of Matt Damon as Mark Watney, who carries most of the movie with his charisma, emotion, and humor.

  • The direction of Ridley Scott, who creates a realistic and immersive vision of Mars and space travel.

  • The adaptation of Andy Weir's novel, which preserves the scientific accuracy, humor, and drama of the original story.

  • The cinematography, editing, sound design, visual effects, and music, which enhance the aesthetic and emotional impact of the movie.

  • The message of the movie, which celebrates the human spirit, the power of science, and the importance of cooperation.

Some of the weaknesses are:

  • The length of the movie, which is over two hours long and may feel slow or repetitive at times.

  • The lack of character development for some of the supporting characters, who are not given enough backstory or personality.

  • The artistic liberties taken with some aspects of Mars and space travel, which may bother some viewers who prefer more realism or accuracy.


What is the main message of the movie?

The main message of The Martian is that human beings are capable of amazing things when they face adversity with ingenuity, perseverance, and collaboration. The movie shows how Watney uses his scientific skills and knowledge to survive on Mars. It also shows how NASA and other space agencies use their resources and expertise to rescue him. It also shows how Watney's crew uses their loyalty and courage to go back for him. The movie demonstrates that human beings are not helpless or hopeless when they encounter problems or challenges. They can find solutions by using their brains, their hearts, and their hands.

How does the movie compare to other sci-fi movies?

The Martian is a sci-fi movie that stands out from other sci-fi movies in several ways. Some of them are:

  • It is based on a Continuing the article: It is based on a realistic and plausible scenario that could happen in the near future, rather than a fictional or fantastical one.

  • It is more optimistic and positive than most sci-fi movies, which tend to be dystopian or pessimistic.

  • It is more humorous and entertaining than most sci-fi movies, which tend to be serious or depressing.

  • It is more educational and informative than most sci-fi movies, which tend to be inaccurate or vague.

Would you recommend it to others?

The Martian is a movie that I would highly recommend to others, especially to those who enjoy science fiction, adventure, or drama. It is a movie that has something for everyone: action, suspense, comedy, emotion, and inspiration. It is a movie that showcases the best of human nature: intelligence, creativity, courage, and compassion. It is a movie that makes you think, feel, and wonder. It is a movie that deserves to be seen and appreciated.


Here are some frequently asked questions about The Martian:

  • Is The Martian based on a true story?

No, The Martian is not based on a true story. It is based on a fictional novel by Andy Weir, who wrote it as a hobby and published it online for free. However, the novel and the movie are both inspired by real science and technology related to Mars exploration.

  • How did Mark Watney make water on Mars?

Mark Watney made water on Mars by using hydrazine, a rocket fuel that contains hydrogen and nitrogen. He carefully burned the hydrazine in a controlled environment to produce hydrogen gas and nitrogen gas. He then used an oxygenator device to combine the hydrogen gas with oxygen from the Hab's atmosphere to form water vapor. He then condensed the water vapor into liquid water using an improvised cooling system.

  • What does \"sol\" mean in The Martian?

Sol is a term used to refer to a solar day on Mars. A solar day is the time it takes for a planet to rotate once on its axis relative to the sun. A sol on Mars is slightly longer than a day on Earth: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds.

  • What does \"I'm going to have to science the shit out of this\" mean?

This is a quote from Mark Watney in The Martian, which he says after he realizes that he has to find a way to survive on Mars using his scientific knowledge and skills. It means that he is going to use science as a tool to solve his problems and overcome his challenges. It also implies that he is confident and enthusiastic about his ability to do so.

  • What is the significance of the disco music in The Martian?

The disco music in The Martian is a source of humor and irony in the movie. It is the only music that Watney has access to on Mars, because it belongs to his commander Lewis, who is a fan of disco. Watney hates disco music and complains about it several times in his video logs. However, he also listens to it as a way to cope with his loneliness and boredom. The disco music also contrasts with the seriousness and danger of Watney's situation, creating a comedic effect.

This concludes my article on The Martian. I hope you enjoyed reading it and learned something new. Thank you for your attention. 71b2f0854b


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