I’ve just seen the film. I thought it was utterly brilliant. 10 out of 10, 5 stars. It’s a gripping film that didn’t drag for a single second.
open spoilers in this post, I’ll just leave a little space in case of accidental mouseovers.
Visually it was stunning. I was especially impressed with the scenes of the astronauts moving around the corridors of the spaceship in zero gravity.
It was mostly faithful to the novel. There were no big changes. A few very minor ones. A few incidents from the book were omitted.
Two very minor changes that I noticed were 1) Watney spends his free time watching Happy Days, instead of Three’s Company 2) a minor plot point in the novel was that it takes some time to use the airlock, in the film he steps through instantly. I can see the reason for the second, but the first is strange. Maybe
In the older threadI made the following predictions:
*Guessing what they’ll cut and change:
- using the old probe to get messages in binary. Change that to direct 2-way speech.
- Cut out a lot of discussion, have them decide on the return to Mars a lot earlier.
- Cut out the rocket that blows up. Go straight to the second rocket that succeeds.
- cut out the dust storm that he has to drive around. Or maybe he gets warning over his 2-way radio, rather than works it out himself. *
I was wrong on three of the four. The first three happened more or less as in the book, but as predicted the several thousand km journey passed without incident.
Other things omitted:
- A lot of technical discussion and calculation about how things work. This is a good thing.
- A lot of lot of Watney’s snark. This is a bad thing, and we lose some of the best lines from the book. In particular we lose Watney’s last speech about how great people are.
- the incident where Watney fills the hab with excess … hyrogen IIRC, and has to evacuate.
- Watney doesn’t fry his communicator, and remains in contact with NASA
- Watney doesn’t spell out messages in rocks.
Many of those make sense, the technical discussions would bore the audience, and including the others would add 30 mins to an hour to the run time. But they made the wrong choice in omitting certain lines.
Nothing of importance was added to the plot, just a few brief scenes after Watney returned to Earth.
I liked the choice of music for the closing credits:I Will Survive. Very clever.
One last comment, the film constantly refers to *Sols *without ever once explaining the term. This could potentially confuse anyone that hasn’t read the book.