‘The Space Between Us’ is a Romantic Adventure starring Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman, and Carla Gugino in what is a terribly boring film. The film follows 16 year old Gardiner (Butterfield) who was born on Mars and who has only ever dreamt of living on Earth and meeting his father, he befriends an Earth-born girl Tulsa (Robertson) online and decides to explore this unfamiliar world, one that his body has not been developed to handle. I initially hoped this was going to be a fast paced, dramatic, and emotional story packed full of light humour and a lot of heart. But shit this turned out to be an agonisingly slow paced, dragging, predictable bore that hits so many cliche run of the mill plot points you wonder how much effort really went into writing this script. It has some very brief opening setup and then i was waiting for the main plot to kick in and have this film get off the ground…….. but it never does extend past being a sluggish mess.
I cannot stress enough how lazy, paint-by-numbers, boring, and at times dumb this damn plot was. You know exactly where this film is heading from very early on, you can essentially map out the exact twists and turns it is going to take and you will be right because it pulls no surprises. It just makes the whole film so pointless, you get no emotional impact from the story, you get no tension filled dramatic adventure sequences, and you cannot buy the fact that two kids can make their was across the US evading a large corporation for what i think was days………. The passage of time in this film is also very poorly articulated. And are we really supposed to believe that every time, and i mean EVERY TIME these kids need to escape there is a perfect opportunity that arises for them to steal an unattended car???? yeah, it’s dumb.
There are just so many idiotic character decisions that go against who they are as you have been introduced to them. One of these scenarios is that for the entire first half of the film various characters keep on telling you, over and over again that Gardiner is incredibly smart because he is “raised by scientists”. And they use this to explain all of the genius science stuff he knows, but he somehow doesn’t know that his body has grown and developed being accustomed to Mars’ atmosphere and that going to Earth could potentially kill him.
As far as the performances go, Gary Oldman was really good in this movie… he had all of the 2 strong emotional scenes, and was really the only compelling character. Unfortunately he disappears from the film almost entirely 2/3 of the way through which was a shame because it was his characters angle and the strength of his performance that was keeping me in this thing. Britt Robertson was also pretty good, her character isn’t that well developed and she is given some pretty shocking dialogue to work with but i think she is a really good actress that managed to do her best with some shockingly bland material. Carla Gugino was in here and she was just fine i guess as she wasn’t given much to do, but she did partake in probably the slowest and most unexciting chase sequence in history. Just watch for the scene of her character chasing Asa Butterfield, it’s not good at all.
Speaking of Asa Butterfield, he managed to follow up a dry, bland, and uninteresting script with a dry, bland, and very uninteresting performance as this curious and intelligent Martian. He was just so wooden and bought absolutely no life to the character, doing absolutely nothing with the poor cliche dialogue that was handed to him. Daniel Radcliffe’s corpse in ‘Swiss Army Man’ was a more animated human than this shell of a character. The story hinges on you rooting for this kid who you really don’t like and that’s a fail from the get-go. The film spends a long time with Gardiner and Telsa, exploring their relationship that was apparently established for a while before we catch up with 16 year old Gardiner and moves so fast from there that you don’t have any opportunity to buy into the scenario. By the time you actually get any investment in their relationship there is like maybe 20 minutes left and by then you’re just waiting for the credits.
So in the end there is no reason to see this film, there is literally one moment of levity in the entire film where Asa shows some character and it is the scene with the horse in the trailer. Everything else surrounding his character was a sluggish bore. Gary Oldman is by far the standout, actually trying to save this train-wreck of a film, Britt Robertson is just a very likeable actress and she brings a lot of personality to an otherwise underdeveloped character. Go and watch the Martian, you have space, adventure, drama, and emotion and it’s actually really great.