‘The Martian’ Movie Review by a Rocket Scientist


As a person who helped build and launch rockets for NASA’s Space programs, I naturally became curious about seeing the 20th Century Fox motion picture, The Martian directed by Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon. As a rocket scientist, I am typically skeptical of science fiction movies dealing with space travel. After years of creating mathematical algorithms and volumes of rocket techniques as explained in my The Martian movie poster. Image by 20th Century Fox.

Written by Drew Goddard and Andy Weir, The Martian is a captivating movie about an astronaut, named Mark Watney, who is left on Mars after a severe dust storm nearly kills his entire crew on the planetary Ares 3 mission. As Mark Watney is stabbed by flying debris and is unable to return for the launch back to Earth, the crew assumes his death. Unbeknownst to the mourning crew, Mark Watney survives and is forced to embrace various survival methods using applications of math and science. The urgency for survival heightens as his space equipment malfunctions, and the lower-pressurized atmosphere seeks to destroy his existence. He considers defeat at first, until his desire to survive resurrects over his pain. And he finds a way to communicate with NASA experts and the world. As food and water supplies are set to exhaust far before the next scheduled mission four years away, the stranded astronaut counts the Mars “sol” days before his predicted death.

The producers and directors were clever in creating this science fiction film. Matt Damon gives an excellent performance and interjects humorous timing in the mist of pressing life-or-death technical problems. Excellent cinematography depicts a new planetary vision with three-dimension-like red-rocky images. Great special effects intricately show the rocket engines’ exhaust plumes accurately. And the 1970s disco music brilliantly and subliminally associates the story with —> Read More