This film has a lot of buzz around it. It’s not Star Wars or Avengers levels of excitement, but for something based a book (a what?) it has a surprising amount of people wanting to see it. It’s probably thanks to the brilliant, if odd, ensemble cast, and the fact that Ridley Scott is once again returning to space, which has people excited despite the generally underwhelming response to Prometheus.

The Martian follows Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) as he’s stranded on Mars, with constantly depleting resources, and no way of contacting home. I don’t want to say anything else about the plot, because that’s all you really need to know (and should know) going in.

This film is a good example of what a great ensemble cast can do. Yes, Matt Damon is the main character, but every member of the cast adds something.  Deep breath… Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover all contribute to the overall feel of the film, even if some of them only have a few lines. A lot of these actors are better known for comedy, which seemed odd before watching this film, but after seeing just how funny some sections are, it makes a lot more sense.

The Martian Review
Pictured: the lengths some people go to for a private screening

Even with all of these things being said, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed by The Martian. Don’t get me wrong, it’s by no means bad, but something about it falls short. I’m struggling to think what it possibly could have been, as I enjoyed almost everything about it (a few choices made near the end didn’t quite feel right for me), but for some reason it failed to make the jump from good to great.