Tony's Take

THE SPACE BETWEEN US review

What’s Your Favorite Thing about Earth?

“The Space Between Us” revolves-around a young boy named Gardner Elliot as he grows up on Mars.  His mother, an astronaut who was a part of the groundbreaking NASA-Genesis Magellan-61 mission, dies while giving birth to Gardner.  His body composition was changed due to Mars’ atmospheric conditions; making any journey to Earth nearly impossible.  16 years later, Gardner is still on Mars.  His lone connection, besides the crew of astronauts, is a friend on Earth named Tulsa that has no clue of his true surroundings.  As he begins to outgrow his environment, the decision is made to put him through a bone-altering surgery to improve his bone density and bring him home to Earth for the first time.  Upon his arrival, he has only one thing on his mind; finding Tulsa and meeting his father.  The rest of the film follows his escapades as he searches for the only true loves he’s ever known, while simultaneously struggling with the commodities on Earth.

Asa Butterfield stars as Gardner Elliot, the film’s main character who was born on Mars.  Britt Robertson plays Tulsa, the rebellious young girl Gardner meets online before meeting her in-person.  The two share an impressive, palpable chemistry which makes their love seem all that more authentic.  Janet Montgomery plays Gardner’s mother, Astronaut Sarah Elliot.  Gary Oldman plays Nathaniel Shepherd, the original designer of East Texas and the Magellan mission to Mars.  Carla Gugino plays a mother-like astronaut for Gardner, Kendra Wyndham.  B.D. Wong plays the Director of Genesis, Tom Chen.  Peter Chelsom, the director of the film, voices an AI robot on Mars named Centaur.  Colin Egglesfield has a small role in the film as well.

“The Space Between Us” breaks-new ground in the tiresome “young love” genre, but, while it has a promising start, unfortunately the film suffers from too many tired and sappy clichés that hold it back from being so much more.  I really enjoyed the film’s background information; I am a huge fan of NASA and space missions in film, so I was gobbling-up the scenes in space and on Mars.  The chemistry shared between stars Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson is excellent, both feeding-off one another and adding a certain level of authenticity and emotion to the film.  I also appreciated the amount of depth and layers in the story; “The Space Between Us” could have been straightforward and dull, but, thanks to many different storytelling and cinematic elements, the film is much deeper and overall becomes a more entertaining experience.  The film’s first hour, while interesting and visually-appealing, takes too long to move the story.  The whole “premise” doesn’t set-in-motion until over an hour into the film.  Especially for a film such as this, this lull makes the viewer grow impatient as the wait increases for the story to move.  “The Space Between Us” also falls-into the trap of over-the-top and sappy dialog (almost worthy of eye-rolling at times) and requires the viewer to suspend disbelief on many occasions.  “The Space Between Us” has a run time of 120 minutes, taking a while to move the story forward during its’ opening third.  Though the film surpassed my expectations, “The Space Between Us” suffers from too many creative errors to make it a great film; but if you are looking for entertainment, then look no further!

“The Space Between Us” follows the life of a young boy born on Mars as he ages before finally coming home to Earth of the first time.  The film features a palpable love story, impressive images, and an entertaining story of courage and determination.  If you are heading to the movies this weekend, “The Space Between Us” might be just what you’re looking for!

 3/5

THE SPACE BETWEEN US is rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and language, in theaters FEBRUARY 3RD!

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