An excerpt from my script review for The Martian which will be available 10/06/15:
4.) Dialogue and Description
Similar to earlier argument, the sassy, sarcastic dialogue never really made me think Mark was in any actual danger of dying.
I always knew someone would come back to save him, and despite mission mishaps, I always knew outcomes would be positive.
This isn’t good, and I’d point specifically to how Mark’s lines always involved a joke of some sort.
Since we can’t copy and paste from the script, refer to his Real World style video confessions sprinkled throughout the script or his various communications with NASA.
Page 43 – His flashback talk, and how he interacts with the crew. They’re more like college kids skipping class than scientists NASA invested millions of dollars in.
Page 103 – The long way around for a lame intergalactic piracy joke.
Ending – When he’s going on about wanting to be Iron Man.
Too much “cute” especially when I don’t sense any real danger.
Opposite that, the description was really well done.
Check out the opening on pages 3 and 4, which breaks up the shots AND adds in emotion like the “I don’t want to do this” when Mark’s trying to remove the antenna from his abdomen.
Page 9 – More good, where time progresses in quick day/sol shots showing us Mark’s work to survive.
Page 31 – I liked the author’s “Note” about the deer actually roaming the grounds of the jet propulsion labs.
All of this set up a tone that was easy and fun to read. (“Endearing” is actually the word I wrote to describe it.)
***One quick note however, was the “too cute” ending, where we’re instructed to EXHALE since all will be revealed soon. Cut the chatter and just reveal it.
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