The idea behind Ridley Scott’s The Martian could be intriguing: What if someone were to be stranded alone on a distant planet? As unoriginal as the premise is – a sci-fi staple often used countless Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits episodes – it still has the potential of the vast unknown. However that potential is quickly wasted in The Martian as it can never rise above a tedious salute to American ingenuity, what eventually becomes a mind-numbingly extended episode of MacGyver.
The script is an abomination, the Chief of NASA actually saying “…if nothing goes wrong” right before…something goes wrong. Character development is non-existent, and not a single word is invested into the psychology of being abandoned in space, excepting the long zoom-ins of everyone becoming more empathetic. It’s astounding that $108 million can be dumped into such a meaningless and vacuous project, and then go on to earn close to $600 million; Ridley Scott hoodwinked us again. Which makes me wonder when his Alien/Blade Runner credentials will finally run out.