Ridley Scott’s The Martian made goo gobs of money when it was released in October, and also rewarded the cast and crew with critical praise and the rumblings of award nominations to come. As with anything, though, there are holes that can be poked in the story, and, so we don’t have to come up with them, someone’s done it for us.
After much demand, the crew at Screen Junkies gave in and put together and Honest Trailer for The Martian. The Matt Damon starrer has crossed $500 million at the box office, so you’d think it would be difficult to come up with stingers for it, but, as usual, the Screen Junkies manage just fine.
I remember vaguely hearing something along the lines of "Matt Damon sure has been rescued a lot, hasn’t he?" and never really gave it any thought. Now, of course, that I see a rough estimation that the man has been saved on film a whopping eight times, I can’t help but wonder what Damon’s deal is. Does he just like the struggle these characters go through, or is he attached to the idea of being so important that whole teams of people will go through hell to get him back? Also, why so many saves in space and war zones? Can’t someone just smack a bad burrito out of his hand and save him from food poisoning like the rest of us?
The video then goes to point out that Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, didn’t exactly have to rough it on Mars 100 percent. Watney is lucky enough to arrive at a spot on the planet that is filled with equipment from previous missions. And, almost all the stuff is new enough that it’s completely usable. Most things haven’t been rendered useless by the environment, no earthquakes…marsquakes have swallowed any of those abandoned vehicles or the habitat whole. Not to mention the fact that he’s got an actual shuttle to work with to try to get his own damn ass home.
Then some gentle poking at NASA begins. In real life, the space program most of us would recognize from when we were kids has been a thing of the past for years. But, in The Martian, NASA is still a fully operational space exploration organization that hasn’t run out of money, time or interest. The botanist and mission fix-it specialist is also imbued with an amazing number of skills necessary for his survival. It’s not like he can just grow plants and do some cool math, the man really does know just enough of everything to keep his life going. What good luck (sort of) that Mark Watney was uniquely equipped to survive abandonment in a tech-filled wasteland.
If there’s one thing this movie didn’t skimp on, it’s the complicated space math. Most normal people who see so much of the number crunching scenes back to back will have their eye glaze over. As the video says, "science fact makes science fiction…kinda boring." And, the ending salvo reminds us to think about all those cameras and Mark Watney’s other needs that have nothing to do with food, water or safety. So, could he turn all those cameras off "when he needed to, you know, do…stuff…to himself?" All I know is that Oscar voters are sure not to be considering that question at nomination time.