A Great Escape

“I’m gonna dip this potato in some crushed Vicodin... and there’s nobody who can
stop me.”

Matt Damon facing camera marked up with observational data in galley of his Mars habitat

The Martian has more than its share of quotable lines, but that one stands out.
Not having read the book, I don’t know if it comes from Andy Weir’s 2011 novel, Drew Goddard’s screenplay, or even an on-set brainstorm, although Goddard — writer for Angel, Buffy the Vampire, and Lost on TV; co-writer and director of the highly recommended meta horror film The Cabin in the Woods — is a good bet. Matt Damon, as the NASA astronaut stranded on the surface of Mars in the year 2035 after his mission teammates evacuate, delivers it to the camera of his character’s video log perfectly.

Damon is excellent and the stagecraft amazing. Only about 40 minutes from the end
did I find myself realizing that, of course, the exterior Mars scenes weren’t filmed on Mars. The buy-in on verisimilitude for me was that high.

The Martian was directed by Ridley Scott of Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, and Gladiator renown and is now available on DVD.

Screencap © 2015 Twentieth Century Studios.

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