MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain.
It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a film that I can heartily recommend to just about anyone, but believe me when I say that The Martian is just that kind of movie. It’s a big screen 3D thrill ride that is also thoughtful, compassionate, emotionally stirring, and often quite funny.
Best of all it’s a film that is positive about the future, celebrating the possibilities of space exploration to bring the world together. (NASA signed on as consultants for this film, and it shows.)
The story is simple. A team of scientists/astronauts is forced to leave their study of the Martian landscape when a violent windstorm threatens to destroy their encampment. One of the crew, Mark Watney (Damon) is struck down by a piece of flying debris. Believing that he is dead (and running out of time), they pilot their spaceship towards Earth. But Watney is not dead and their base camp is damaged, but still standing. Now this lone scientist has to use his wits to figure out a way to survive while also attempting to contact the folks at home. He will have to learn how to grow food, ration supplies, and exist on a diminishing supply of air and water. The odds may be against him, but Watney proclaims that “I’m not going to die here” and gets to work.
The Martian deftly moves its action from Mars to Earth to spaceship to Earth and back to Mars again. Once contact between Mars and Earth has been made, the big question for all concerned is: How much value is one human life?
This, of course, is a question that The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all too willing to answer: “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7 NRSV)
The screen is filled with a dozen or more interesting characters that all contribute in their own way to become part of the adventure. The Martian in many ways shares the DNA of Star Trek in its optimism and its hope for the future.
With a brisk, clever script by Drew Goddard (based on a bestselling novel by Andy Weir), great direction by Ridley Scott, beautiful cinematography and a stirring musical score, The Martian is the total package – an entertaining and thought-provoking movie for the whole family that leaves you feeling good about the human race. At last!
Five halos: A positive film about creativity and human possibilities that also celebrates the immense value of one human life.
One pitchfork: Some swearing – including one friendly visit from the F-bomb; some survival scenes that might be upsetting to younger children.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
COMMENTS! Do you have comments about this movie or movie review?
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