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Existential Movie Review: The Martian

Just saw the new Matt Damon movie, “The Martian.” Some friends and I got to see it with two Astrophysicists and a Theologian from colleges around Atlanta. So we had a lively discussion afterwards.

And so here is my existential review of the movie.

But first… Matt Damon gets rescued… Sorry, I had to spoil it in order for the rest of this to make sense.



So, in the movie, the astronauts have to use their utmost ingenuity to get back to Mars and rescue Matt Damon. But it’s only because of their 1) intelligent problem solving and 2) focused motivation that they can finally nail it. There are dozens of steps along the way that, if they didn’t utilize both of these, all the pieces would have succumbed to entropy and drifted in opposite directions, never coming within miles of their target, much less hitting the tiny nail on the head and save him.

That got me thinking about all that stuff how if the earth was tilted one degree steeper, or if the atmosphere had 5% more carbon or something, we’d all die? What a daunting task to create and regulate that massive, perfect system.

I mean, how on Earth are we alive?


Who did this for us?

And why?

It’s like someone really smart, really wants us to exist.

Hmmm. . .


But then I think, if He orchestrated things so well to support our lives, why does He let us suffer through such daunting and dangerous challenges with lives at stake at times?

What if it’s because God wants us to be like Him and this is partly how he does it. He lets us come up against incredibly daunting odds because He wants us to exercise problem solving like Him, and create solutions like Him to give life and love to the people around us, like He does. And maybe He wants us to see how far we can reach if we only put our mind and heart to a good goal, so we can start seeing more of Him in ourselves than we thought was in us.


So, if I were to give a ranking to the movie, I would give it about a billion stars . . .

. . . and a couple of massively expansive planets.

Raw Spoon, 10-3-15

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