The Martian’s stars Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain both appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar last year, so is it too soon for another space travelling adventure?

Well no, actually. This movie is something else completely. In fact I would go as far as saying that this is one of Matt Damon’s finest performances.

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Damon’s astronaut Mark Watney is part of a crew exploring Mars when a storm hits and he’s left for dead as his colleagues are forced to evacuate.

Only, Watney’s still alive and when the storm has blown over he staggers back to the safety of the Ares 3 space station with a metal spike protruding from his stomach.

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After a DIY mini operation to patch himself up, he starts a video diary of his predicament and how he intends to stay alive. The next space mission visit is not due for another four years and the storage of food and supplies will run out before he can be rescued.

It is therefore fortuitous that Watney was sent on the mission as a top Botanist, which Damon’s character makes light of in one of his video diaries as being lucky.

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There is no doubt that this is Damon’s film but he is ably supported by a superb all-star cast. For a start the Hermes crew consist of Jessica Chastain (Commander Lewis), Michael Pena (Pilot Rick Martinez) who seems to be constantly working in many diverse roles from Police drama End of Watch (2012) to the light relief in the recent Ant-Man (2015), Kate Mara (Beth Johanssen) hot from Fantastic Four (2015), Sebastian Stan (Beck) Captain America’s Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier and Norwegian actor Askel Hennie (Vogel, chemistry bod) brilliant in the Norwegian thriller Headhunters (2011).

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The film’s screenplay is written by Drew Goddard who has a good pedigree having worked with Joss Whedon and has written episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002-2003), Angel (2003-2004) and the comedy horror thriller Cabin in the Woods (2012). Goddard is also responsible for the recent TV Marvel hit show Daredevil (2015), World War Z (2013) and Cloverfield (2008).

It was adapted from the New York Times bestselling novel The Martian written by Andy Weir.

Damon certainly does the book justice and shows plenty of wit and charm as the stranded Astronaut tries to make the best of his situation with a sense of humour.

The biggest hardship that he faces is having to listen to the Commanders 70’s Disco mix tape that is the only music available in the lonely space station.

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The film is directed by the Legend that is Ridley Scott, who is no stranger to sci-fi. Scott breaks up any fear of the film becoming monotonous by switching the action from Mars to the NASA team on earth. Who are more than surprised to find out that Watney is still alive especially as NASA Director Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels) has already announced to the world that he is dead.

Once again the NASA team also consists of big star names and talent.

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As well as Daniels who pretty much reprises his character role Will McAvoy in TV’s The Newsroom. We have Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Ares Project Director Vincent Kapoor, Kristen Wiig as Media PR officer Annie Montrose and Sean Bean who plays a good guy for a change as Mitch Henderson the only Englishman in the movie, in charge of the mission crew.

Actually there are no bad guys in the movie. It’s all about team work and finding solutions and the realisation that “every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out.”

There is a similarity here with the real life rescue mission in Apollo 13, whereas the NASA team have to replicate and work with the same materials that Watney has at his disposal on Mars and the way they calculate how to get the Hermes to get back to Mars and try to rescue their colleague.

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But I’m not complaining as it makes a fictional sci-fi story seem more plausible in what can be achieved.

At two hours twenty one minutes it is a tad long but I would still recommend this as an extremely entertaining movie and worth the cinema entrance fee. If only to see Matt Damon jigging about to Donna Summers “Hot Stuff”.

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In UK Cinemas September 30