For the third consecutive Fall movie season, an astronaut-themed adventure is out in cinemas. In 2013, we had Gravity, the Sandra Bullock led movie about a woman lost in space (review HERE)... then in 2014, Christopher Nolan's grand opus Interstellar graced the screen (review HERE) and now in 2015 Ridley Scott gives us an adaptation of The Martian. For films tackling such similar subject matter, each director chose vastly different aspects to prioritize, and thus the three films are actually quite varied in what they achieve. In Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron sacrificed characters that were fleshed out for the sake of the audience getting swallowed up in the suspense of the situation. Here in The Martian, Ridley Scott does the polar opposite. Our lead, Mark Watney has plenty of personality and heart, but because he's so capable the audience rarely finds themselves on the edge of their seat in desperation for his situation. Instead, they're too busy laughing at his wisecracks.
The Martian is a solid space journey buoyed by Matt Damon and a strong supporting cast surrounding him. It has the humor and heart to make an impression and is more rewarding in the end because of it. Because I was invested in these characters, I was much more emotional about their outcomes...even if I wasn't stressed out about them the whole movie long. The journey is much more enjoyable if you can appreciate the characters you're taking it with. EMILY RATING: 8.5/10