By: Jessica Goddard
The Space Between Us really wants to be a ground-breaking, memorable sci-fi love story, and maybe if it’d stuck to that alone, it would’ve been a better film.
Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) is the first human being born on Mars, and longs to visit Earth to meet his long-distance internet crush, Tulsa (Britt Robertson), and to track down his unidentified father. But there’s a problem – Gardner’s body can’t handle the Earth’s atmosphere, and it becomes clear he’s running out of time.
Leaving aside the questionable science behind the story’s initial premise, screenwriter Allan Loeb (21, The Switch) is far too indulgent in his creative liberties, layering implausibilities and issues of common sense one after the other until the viewer can no longer be expected to suspend disbelief. For example, the fact that NASA would send a young woman into space without being certain she’s not pregnant is ridiculous, especially since this story takes place in the future when the technology to determine such a thing would be all the more advanced.
The love story in The Space Between Us relies on some truly cringeworthy clichés and tired tropes. But while Loeb shamelessly paints-by-numbers, this movie does offer an unexpected twist near the end. With that said, there are just too many high-stake pursuits taking place at once in this film’s two hour runtime. While this makes for an action-packed plot, it means that none of the conclusions are particularly poignant, although they could be if the concept was more focused.
I will admit this movie is an interesting thought experiment, and in that regard, it is quite stimulating in the questions it poses and attempts to answer. The Space Between Us is nowhere near boring; it does take some risks. As a bonus, the cinematography is wonderful, and the film does a nice job of keeping its technology of the future believable and exciting.
This is the kind of movie that will be a hit with teenagers and young adults, but is likely to be forgotten a year from now. It makes for an entertaining enough night out, but is by no means a must-see.
Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:
Jessica Goddard: @TheJGod