Movie Review: The Martian
The movie version of The Martian came out last night. How did it come out so soon after the book? Apparently the movie and book deals were both struck within four days of each other. The movie was great. Yeah, some stuff was cut. Some stuff is almost always cut when they adapt a whole book to fit a movie sized spot. But some stuff is added. In the case of this movie they added some fantastic shots of Mars. We've had so many landers and rovers and satellites land there that they can do some super realistic shots of the landscape and the weather patterns. And it's gorgeous.
Let me tell you what they cut without giving away spoilers. Many of the problems and disasters. Most of the math is gone. Much of the botany and biology. Much of the chemistry. Not all of it. Some of it, one could argue, wasn't cut, but assumes the viewer isn't an idiot and knows what he's doing. Some of the chemistry is explained, but the movie doesn't tell where the catalyst was scavenged from. People who've read the book will know why Mark Watney is wearing a helmet indoors in one particular scene. It's not to protect his head.
You know how the Lord of the Rings movies were long, but on DVD they're even longer for all the fans to get the scenes they want? Most fans of the book want to add another hour to the movie just so the film makers can take the time to get into the details the book did.
The movie is hard science fiction. The only thing that is technically wrong is the weather. Mars does have storms that rage at 300+ MPH, but the air is so thin that you won't feel more push than you would in a breeze on Earth. The author knew that and twisted that fact anyway to tell a good story. He said that thanks to him the country is learning that fact about Mars and he's totally happy with that.
If you liked watching MacGyver then you'll love The Martian. Both tell about very smart people doing brilliant things with limited resources and with a good dose of action thrown in.
I'll absolutely get this on DVD. I may go and see it in theaters one more time.