Damon masters role as brave astronaut in ‘The Martian’

by: JESSICA COX/Staff Writer 

Imagine a child in a grocery store, unable to find his mother.

That child would urgently search for his mother, feeling struck with the fear of abandonment.

Now imagine that same feeling, but being stranded on a desolate planet, knowing that it will be years until someone returns.

I imagine that’s how Mark Watney felt in “The Martian.” This movie is centered around Matt Damon’s character, Watney, a NASA astronaut who gets left behind on Mars and is forced to make the most of his resources to survive. Yes, it seems far fetched, but this movie is worth the 141 minutes of screen time.

Watney is with his crew during their time on Mars when a fierce storm threatens their mission. In fear that their shuttle would tip over due to the violent winds, they are forced to abandon their work and leave immediately. On the way back to the shuttle, Watney is knocked unconscious by flying debris, cutting off his communication from his crew. His crewmates look for Watney for as long as they can, but they are pressed to leave. Without hope of his survival, they begin their journey back to Earth, leaving Watney behind.

Watney regains consciousness the next morning, impaled by an antennae. The blood seeping from his wound, mixed with the blowing sand, served as a sealant to his suit, being the reason that he survived. After performing a makeshift surgery on himself to remove the debris, Watney begins to keep a video log of every aspect of his time on Mars, creating a bond between Watney and the audience.


Watney begins to ration the food left in the Hab, quickly realizing that he does not have enough to last very long. Being a botanist, he decides to put his mind to work. With a determined mindset, he begins creating a crop-like area to grow potatoes.

This creative astronaut goes through many different steps to grow food. He uses his own waste as fertilizer, and creates water with hydrogen, oxygen, and fire. After a few comical trials, to the audience’s surprise, a sprout begins to grow. With that, Watney looks at the camera once again and says, “I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the greatest botanist on this planet.”

Watney puts his mind to the test multiple times throughout this film. From creating a connection to NASA, to figuring out how to stay warm without using up his suit’s energy, it keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Not only is “The Martian” action-packed, it is hilarious all the way through. With quotes like, “I admit it’s fatally dangerous, but I’d get to fly around like Iron Man,” Watney keeps his wit through it all, making the audience laugh in nearly every scene.

I recommend this movie to anyone and everyone who enjoys a great film. It is perfect for a date night, or just a night out with the girls. Due to foul language from Watney, I would not advise children to see this move.

Despite that, this is the best film I have seen in a long time. All in all, I give “The Martian” 5 out of 5 stars, hands down.

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