“The Martian” is big on tense moments and special effects. It is a major movie, running 141 minutes, and ultimately is about Mark Watney’s (Matt Damon) experiences in surviving on Mars until a rescue mission reaches him. A wicked sandstorm leads to the quick evacuation of the NASA team on Mars, but Watney is left behind, presumed dead. Actually, he is injured and has to do minor surgery on himself. He also has to figure out how to survive with a dwindling food supply but, fortunately, he is a botanist. He manages to grow vegetables, mainly potatoes, in Mars’ soil.
The film focuses on his life on Mars, working in his makeshift garden, traveling in a motor vehicle to find a rendezvous spot and plot an escape, and dealing with the cold. Eventually, his team back on Earth learns he has survived. Watney’s crew is five months into their return home when they finally learn about his survival. As Watney continues to deal with hardship, such as his garden being destroyed and his food supply being cut drastically, his team must make a decision as to how to rescue him. The final decision will be risky but is the best option for him to be brought home alive.
The film contains plenty of anxious and tense moments and the mystery of whether or not Watney will get home, but regrettably it contains strong language, a few bloody scenes, and rear male nudity. Therefore, we are unable to award the film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.