There’s no Uber on Mars
There’s a Hab and a rover, but no Uber on Mars. So when Mark Watney’s crew leaves him for dead, strands him in the red sand storm, and aborts the mission, he has no means but his own wits to survive until the next scheduled, fictional Ares mission. That mission is four years from Sol 18, which is when he regained consciousness.
Enter the drowsy NASA tech who is alerted to screen movement picked up by satellite imaging still stuck on the spot. Something’s moving…OMG, it’s Mark! OMG, his former crew doesn’t know he’s alive. And, they’re months from returning to Earth. What’s a guy to do? Any other guy would probably die. But, the greatest botanist, and an astronaut, to boot just might have a shot. The audience sure knows that he’s still alive ~ to the tune of over $167 million at the box office over four weekends since Fox released The Martian on October 2, 2015. And, the rest of the world, at over $218 million proves that we’re not leading in the movie space race. Beijing [who] ultimately plays a critical role in aiding the rescue attempt, even if they are suggesting technology that the U.S. hasn’t used since 2009
In fact, it is the whole world cheering for Mark’s safe rescue from London, Times Square, Beijing and naturally at NASA headquarters. Uptight NASA Director Teddy Sanders, played by Jeff Daniels, has a PR profile to protect, so when NASA astrophysicist Rich Purnell (played by Donald Glover) has a brainstorm and suggests something seemingly screwy, Sanders, in today’s use of the word “literally,” throws him out of the room.
One can’t help join in on the cheering for The Martian. Matt Damon portrays the professionalism of a trained astronaut. He solves one problem. Then he solves another problem, and another. And, because he’s not really a Martian (although, who really would know? Some postulate that all Earth life may have come from Mars.), he displays quite a human tendency to be frustrated, disgusted at times and emotionally overwhelmed.
At two and a half hours, the movie is just a fraction of the time it truly takes to reach Mars – and yet, we, mere Earthlings, only need take an Uber to our local theater. More than once, may I suggest.