Following in the footsteps of Gravity (2013) and Interstellar (2014), The Martian is the newest quasi-realistic space adventure film to hit the big screen. It features a lone astronaut (Matt Damon) left to fend for himself on the red planet. And, as is usually the case with space films, the movie has prompted the ire of all of planet Earth’s nerdy know-it-alls.
In this video, NASA scientist Josh K. Willis describes The Martian as “basically just The Hangover in space ’cause they left a guy behind.”
And that’s a fair assessment, though we think it’d be more aptly described as Gravity mixed with Castaway. Willis admits that a few of the film’s depictions were near accurate, including the time it takes to send simple messages to and from Mars (15 minutes each way) and how Damon’s character Mark Watney was able to grow potatoes from “poop, Martian soil, water from exploding rocket fuel,” which according to Willis, is totally possible.
Other plot points, however—like the storm that strands Watney to begin with, which is kind of a big one—he shoots down. “Mars does have storms, but they’re just not as violent as depicted in the movie,” says Willis.
He goes on to end the video by reminding us that we “can’t forget that we have to take care of the planet we already live on.”
Sure, Willis, tell that to the box office.