Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Martian – An Interstellar Spin-Off?


Christopher Nolan’s space epic ”Interstellar” proved to be 2014’s most divisive film by a galactic stretch. The mind-bending thriller starring Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain dealt with discovery, survival and being introduced to an abandoned astronaut in Matt Damon around the halfway mark of the film.

Well, as I check my Facebook news feed for my daily dose of nothingness, a large image of Matt Damon’s face pops up on my screen, covered with text saying  “Bring Him Home”. Immediately, his “Interstellar” character of Dr. Mann sprung to mind.
Sporting an eerily similar space suit and not appearing to have changed his appearance in the slightest, clicking the trailer for Ridley Scott’s latest picture “The Martian” was an action full of skepticism.

Sadly, my doubts were confirmed with the trailer. It is near impossible to not think of “Interstellar” whilst watching the trailer for “The Martian” and it’s bitterly disappointing. It seems as though the film (based on Andy Weir’s 2011 novel) and those associated with it will no doubt feel the same way throughout the production phase of the film, but I can’t see anything more than jeopardy for the film after the impact “Interstellar” had just 12 months ago.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 1.41.42 amFurthermore, “The Martian” appears to have similar traits to “Interstellar”, prior to its surrealist shift towards the third act. It’s not only the casting of Jessica Chastain as a worrisome character looking on from planet earth; it’s the theme of lone survival against all odds, hoping to be rescued some day.
“Interstellar” established that Dr. Mann put himself into hyper sleep in the hope he’d be found, and lone behold, he was greeted with an “Alright, Alright, Alright!”
(not the worst way to wake up if you know what I mean…)

The rapid editing showing Damon in his orange spacesuit simply doesn’t look believable to me, and it’s a great shame. There’s even a shot of him cascading through an airlock compartment!

Sadly, “The Martian” will be associated, linked and compared to “Interstellar” whether it likes it or not. Surely someone somewhere would’ve ben aware of this at some stage and adjusted certain elements accordingly.
The film should be very interesting, and it will most likely turn out to be very different to Nolan’s space odyssey, but was casting Matt Damon really the right choice?
My opinions are merely based on a trailer, and I’m sure there’s more revelation to occur, but for now, I’ll remain dubious.

I guess we’ll have to wait “Inte… I mean “The Martian” later this year.

Watch the trailer here: 


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