Thoughts on The Martian
As THE MARTIAN title faded away did I see the uprights of the capital letters linger, as an homage to the famous ALIEN title card?
If you found yourself suspending your disbelief with the book at all (even with all the science facts and maths) then hold your breath for the movie. Example: I seriously doubt there would be enough room on a Mars flight for each member of the crew to have Captain Picard style quarters with a desk and a swivel chair.
Having said that, the film doesn't completely dumb down, nor does the script resort to cliché or ham-fistedness. The reason for the inclusion of harvestable potatoes on board The Hermes is fleetingly glimpsed and thankfully Mark Watney remains unwed.
On the whole the necessary culling of plot points (well, let's call them incidents - there's not a great deal of plot) is well managed. In the book Andy Weir has a habit of slowly preempting catastrophes with revealing minutiae. For example, the way the fabric of the airlock was getting stretched by the buffeting wind. It is there in the film, but like many things, I'm not sure how apparent it will be to a viewer who hasn't read the source.
The actress who plays Mindy Park (Mackenzie Davis) looks just like a young version of the actress who plays Annie Montrose (Kristen Wiig). Confusing.
Seeing Mark Watney's malnourished body was quite a shock. Not as shocking as his Catweazle beard though.
I'm a bit said that they actually used the Iron Man hand thruster idea in the climax. And I would have preferred it if Lewis had stayed in the Hermes and Beck had actually gone out to grab Watney.
There's no mention of the Hermes crew having to resort to cannibalism if the Chinese supply launch fails.