The tightly knit crew of the Ares III mission to Mars truly seems to be enjoying its adventure. Their good-natured approach to life and work on the Red Planet makes their task look like fun, despite the inherent risks involved with being in a hostile, unfamiliar environment roughly 50 million miles from home. But that joviality quickly evaporates when a severe windstorm approaches, threatening the crew’s habitat – not to mention the viability of the mission itself. Before long, howling winds and thick dust clouds inundate their settlement, and the crew is suddenly faced with having to abort their mission.
On balance, “The Debt” is a riveting thriller, even if the re-created back story goes on a little too long. The writing is crisp, insightful, intense and highly emotional at times, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself occasionally squirming in your theater seat or clawing at the armrest.
As ascendant beings who ultimately seek the source from which we came, not unlike the trees that so patiently yet determinedly reach for the life-sustaining sunlight of the sky, we’re innately committed to the search for meaningful guidance that will assist us in this journey.