I just couldn’t decide about this one. It did have a lot of fun moments & scenes… and just a cool vibe. But, as a full story, it didn’t make much sense – it was trying to make a point (about living your dreams, etc), but never actually made it. There was too much that left me scratching my head saying “really?”, but not in a good way. Still, a chunk of the movie was shot in Iceland, and I’m always a sucker for that. So… I’ll have to give it a positive word or two.
Finally… a science fiction movie that treats its audience like the smart adults we are. Finally we get a hero whose struggle isn’t against his own personal demons, but just against a hostile environment. There’s no stupid love story, no family crying at home about how they miss daddy, no people doing stupid things because they have some emotional baggage, no illogical plot points… instead, we’re left with a movie that’s certainly fantasy – and fantastical, but just on the right side of plausible. Sure, there are a few technical issues glossed-over (like how his plastic bubble fix to the habitat could not have come close to withstanding the pressure it needed to). But these were not central to the plot.
I think most movie-makers in Hollywood simply aren’t very scientific. They’re in the movie business, they’re all about art and emotion. I hope they “get it” with a movie like The Martian – there’s a huge demand for geeky smart stuff. Please make more.