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There is nothing Matt Damon cannot salvage, right? Not just being shipwrecked on Mars and officially becoming the first colonist, lead botanist and singular pirate on the red planet, but also keeping this executive summary of a movie from shipwrecking itself. My guess is that the film is jolly good entertainment to all who have not read the book by Andy Weir. Myself, I was in Harry-Potter-mode, checking the boxes of what they covered in the film, but in particular being stunned by what was left out. While that is usually a dumb thing to do, I could not help but being disappointed by the lack of … let’s say scope of the endeavor. I did not feel the movie depicted the solitude over this stunning period of time, the vast stretches of working along, experiencing major setbacks, recovering from those and getting back to work. In particular, there is a devastating radio outage occurrence that plays a major part in the book, almost breaking our lonely hero’s will, and that bit was just ignored in the script. What we have is an entertaining astronaut with a good sense of sardonic humour, some excellent casting decisions also for the ground crew, and some pretty landscaping in the CGI machine. As it is, it is a thrill ride, but not the epic experience it could have been. Should have been three hours longer to achieve that, I know, but still… on the upside, there’s a butch Damon with a pretty butt and no signs of muscle deterioration through space travel.

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