Reviewed by: Curtis McParland
survival under extremely adverse conditions
being trapped totally alone and isolated
ingenuity and courage
self-sacrifice in the goal of a saving the life of another
The atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface averages 0.087 psi, about 0.6% of Earth's mean sea level pressure of 14.69 psi.
The atmospheric pressure is so low that a “fiercestorm” as they put it would be something akin to a very light breeze messing up your hair.
Due to the low air density sound would not travel like it does on Earth, and you would have to stand next to someone and scream for them to hear you, providing you could survive the freezing cold temperature, poisonous atmosphere and lack of pressure.
The average surface temperature on Mars is a frigid -81°F (-63°C) compared to Earth's average of 57°F (14°C).
The length of a Martian day is 24 hours 37 minutes. The length of a Martian year is 687 days.
The gravity on Mars’ surface is 62.5% lower than it is on Earth. At just 0.38 of the Earth standard, a person who weighs 220 lbs (100 kg) on Earth would weigh only 83 lbs (38 kg) on Mars.
Matt Damon … Mark Watney
Kate Mara … Beth Johanssen
Jessica Chastain … Melissa Lewis
Kristen Wiig … Annie Montrose
Sean Bean … Mitch Henderson
Chiwetel Ejiofor … Venkat Kapoor
Jeff Daniels … Teddy Sanders
Michael Peña … Rick Martinez
Donald Glover … Rich Purnell
Mackenzie Davis … Mindy Park
Sebastian Stan … Chris Beck
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|Distributor:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
“Bring him home”
Stranded on the “Red Planet” …that’s a scary thought. This turns into reality for astronaut Mark Watney, though, as he becomes stranded on Mars after an intense storm hits the planet. Presuming that he is dead, the remainder of Watney’s crew safely escapes Mars leaving him to fend for himself. There are no extraterrestrials in this sci-fi thriller, though. As a matter of fact, the situations Watney faces are quite realistic. “The Martian” is a survival tale, and as Watney faces the fact that he will have to live years alone with minimal supplies, he puts his survival skills to the test as he attempts to grow plants, conserve oxygen, and ultimately communicate with NASA that he is, in fact, still alive.
After retrieving successful signals from Watney, NASA pulls together a strong team that will do anything within its power to bring him home. Also, neither the perils of space, fires, or debris can prevent Watney’s crew from the ultimate goal of voyaging back to the Red Planet to rescue him. He’s a part of the team—the family. On this mission, Watney’s crew faces great risk of fatality, but shares with the world that no individual should be left behind.
“The Martian” is a beautifully shot film that displays the magnificence of the universe and brings some of the best acting out of lead man Matt Damon. The performance of the supporting cast, though, is even more impressive. With strong performances from Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, and Sean Bean, this story becomes even more believable as director Ridley Scott returns in much finer fashion with this intense, realistic thriller. I started to lose faith in Scott after his last few outings, but, after viewing “The Martian,” I started to regain some hope in his filmmaking.
The movie still contains faults, though, as it suffers from a weak script, with some pitiful dialog, along with some story elements that cause the audience to lose track of what exactly is happening on screen. Although this film is definitely an improvement for Ridley Scott, he still has a lot of work to do when it comes to directing a large thriller like “The Martian.” The story flows smoothly most of the time, but, with a runtime of nearly 2½ hours, some audiences may become a bit impatient waiting for the film’s conclusion.
Overall, “The Martian” is still a welcoming return for Ridley Scott, and one of his best films within the past few years. But let’s just say, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Trouble lies beneath, as “The Martian” is marred by some harsh profanity, bloody wounds, and brief nudity. The sexual content is relatively mild, as we hear one sex reference from a character and another reference to “fetish e-mails.” Watney is shirtless on a number of occasions, but the more concerning scene is when the audience catches a glimpse of his bare backside as he strolls by the camera, showing his emaciation. We also briefly see him in his underwear in another scene, and some sharp listeners may pick up a crude anatomical reference.
The language hurts “The Martian” the most, as two clear f-words are heard, a few more mouthed repeatedly, and another use starred out in a message using the expression “Are you f***ing kidding me?” A vulgar word for male genitals is used. The s-word is thrown around a dozen times and a handful of milder profanities like h*ll, a**-h***, and d**n pop up a few times, also. God’s name is abused about 15 times (once paired with d**n)—and Jesus’ name an additional 3.
The film does not contain much violence but some bloody wounds are on display after Watney gets speared with a piece of debris from the storm. We see him remove the pieces, writhe in pain, patch himself up, and staple it shut while blood gushes out. One of the staples pops out later on and we see a little more blood. The storm on Mars is a bit intense and we see Watney go flying as he gets separated from his crew. There is also an explosion played for comedic effect and some of the space travel may be too intense for some as a few astronauts greatly risk their lives to rescue Watney. There is no alcohol consumption but viewers do see Watney inject himself with medication, and he later dips a potato in a crushed up Vicodin pill out of desperation since he ran out of ketchup. Some viewers may get grossed out when Watney is forced to use his own human waste as a natural fertilizer. The closest we get to spiritual content is when we see Watney with a crucifix. He later decides to meld it down to help aid him in his many survival projects but believes that Jesus would be okay with it due to his current situation. There is also a mention of Hinduism and Baptism. Watney describes the universe as “4.5 billion years old”.
Not only is “The Martian” a survival tale but a story of hope and never giving up. But it primarily stays focused on the value of a single human life. Watney is determined to stay alive and even tells himself at one point, “I’m not gonna die here”. Strong themes of teamwork, companionship, courage, and sacrificing our lives for the ones we love play a large part in “The Martian”. Hebrews 13:16 (ESV) reads “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Watney’s crew does not neglect to “do good” and they share the abilities that they have in order to complete the dangerous rescue mission. Sadly, they do not realize that they could be doing this for a greater purpose, though; honoring and obeying God by laying down their lives for each other. As followers of Christ, we must adhere to Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Ridley Scott is known for being an atheist and even applying his beliefs to his films. Some may sense this when viewing “The Martian,” but strong, God honoring themes definitely overpower the atheistic ones. “The Martian” opens the door for plenty of discussion. Should a group of many sacrifice their lives for an individual? What’s our purpose in life? Why does this one life matter? Because that’s what families and friends do. In fact, as followers of Christ, we are commanded.
“The Martian” and its themes apply more to Scripture than one may imagine. But, sadly, the film is marred by its use of strong language, bloody images, and brief nudity. I do not recommend “The Martian” for family viewing, but for older teens and up this film may open some doors that lead to the understanding of the true value and sanctity of human life. Therefore, please use great discretion before viewing this film. It may contain many great, positive elements, but the overall content displayed in this near 2½ hour feature is nothing short of problematic.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate—shirtless man (2x), full rear male nude (illustrating starvation), “my balls are frozen,” disco song “…I need some hot stuff, baby tonight…” etc., reference to alternate version of game “Leather Goddesses Of Phobos,” joke about a fetish, joke about posing for photo as a “coquettish ingenue,” comment that skeptical botanists should have sex with themselves, “real d*ck punch”
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.