Critical Notes on ‘The Martian’ Script: Unhelpful Nonsense


Negatives from the script (available online as a PDF):
  • appearance of Mars compared to a “blast furnace”
  • protagonist’s first word is “Fuck” [unimaginative use, no problem with word]
  • multi-paragraph undramatic expositive dialogue
  • dumbed down unintelligent boring main character
  • cheesy dated dialogue “our bad”, “shitstorm”, “I’m going to have to
    science the shit out of it” heh heh
  • crucifix sole combustible at base
  • overriding obvious question: why doesn’t he fix the damn antennae???!
  • 30 day mission rather than standard 500 day Mars Direct (which would allow enough foodstuffs for one person to live many years of emergency survival on Mars…not to mention a spare antennae)
  • astronauts from military backgrounds/pilots
  • inability to launch during sandstorm due to “wind”
  • crew must lean in to “force the doors closed against the wind”
  • “We’ve never had a manned ship controlled remotely before.”
  • Mark holds up his middle finger. Fuck you Mars.” [emphasis original]
  • Drug glorification “I’m dipping this potato in Vicodin and there’s nothing
    anyone can do about it.” [This criticism seems to receive the most attention…a person close to me nearly died from alcoholism recently, as a result I have a new hatred of addictive substances which would have surprised my past self. I enjoyed alcohol but this tragedy was by far the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed. My hope is we as a free society come to abhor drugs of all kinds, and disdain their use as we have cigarettes.]
Constant corny uptight hierarchical conflicts:
  • “We’ll do our best.” “Mark dies if you don’t.”
    “We discussed this.” “You discussed this.”
  • “I’m sorry commander you need to verbally–” “Launch!”
  • Even afflicts CNSA: “Are you kidding?” “Have you ever known me to kid, sir?”
  • “Bullshit it should be Commander Lewis’ call.” “We need to make this decision. It’s a matter of life and death.” “She’s the mission commander. Life and death decisions are her damn job.”…”You goddamn coward.”
  • “We’re talking about mutiny which is not a word I use lightly.”
  • “Easy, cowboy. You and I are military. There’s a good chance we’d be court martialed when we get home.”
  • “When this is over I’ll expect your resignation.” “I understand.”
  • “You’re sending him to space under a tarp?” “Yes. Can I go on?” “I’m not sure I want you to, but okay.”
  • “…I feel obliged to mention that setting off an explosive device on a spacecraft is a terrible, terrible idea.” “Copy that. Can you do it?” [thinks, then] “Ja.”
  • “Oh wait a minute. Yep. I’m looking at my shoulder patch and it turns out I’m commander. So shut up.”

Sole Positive:

  • blue sunrise