The Space Between Us
Peter Chelsom
Grade 1.5 out of 5
Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson
This is one of those stories that I’m sure sounded great as an idea, then just seemed really good on paper. Unfortunately the execution in bringing it to the silver screen stumbles along the way.
“The Space Between Us” stars two incredibly likeable teenagers as its leads, Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson. They are joined by two amazing actors in the forms of Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino.
Butterfield plays the son of an astronaut mother, who when she journeys out on a trip to Mars, she doesn’t realize that she’s pregnant while in route. She unfortunately dies during childbirth and her young son is forced to grow up on Mars surrounded by scientists, and not anyone his own age.
As he grows to a teenager, he starts to become reckless, and acts out in defiance. He’s unable to leave Mars because his physiology is so unique, he may not be able to survive in Earth’s environment. He is however able to video chat with a high school girl, played by Robertson, who he has been crushing on for a while. With a little help, he manages to convince the higher ups to let him come to Earth, even though he may be putting his life in danger. He wants to live as an Earthling and meet with the girl he’s been talking to online, who doesn’t know where he’s really from.
This movie felt like an adaptation of a cheesy YA novel (it isn’t), as if the studio just filmed scenes from the book and people didn’t care about making a coherent movie (ala Zack Snyder). I can understand what they are going for, but the storyline and the character development was really difficult for me to get behind because it doesn’t feel organic at all. Even though the performances are fun, the characters do things and get themselves into dumb situations because the “Movie Gods” demand it and so the studio can check off all the “teen adventure” boxes.
To be fair, the film received a small round of applause at the end, so clearly the story works for some people, no matter how flimsy I found it. There is definitely a fun romantic, sci-fi, dramedy hidden in there somewhere, but what’s on the screen left me cold like the surface of a certain red planet.
-“Marquee Mark” Markellus

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