Sunday, 19 February 2017

'The Space Between Us' Review

A mission that aims to create a human civilisation is underway with one of the astronauts giving birth to the first Martian shortly after arriving.  Unfortunately, the mother dies leaving a child without family on a different planet. Gardner (Asa Butterfield) is kept a secret from Earth to avoid backlash from the public. At 16 years old, the decision to bring Gardner to Earth is made as he becomes close to a girl Tulsa (Britt Robertson) via video and text chat. After it becomes clear that Gardner may be sent back to Mars due to health reasons, he runs away to find Tulsa in hope to help find his father and where he belongs in the world.

The tale of a person coming to Earth for the first time is an interesting idea as there are many things to explore and interact with that you wouldn't get with usual extraterrestrials. You don't have to waste any time with hiding the character new to Earth or developing communication. The concept itself is very solid, yet 'The Space Between Us' cannot back that up.

Director Peter Chelsom brings us one of the strangest films this year despite having a decent story behind it with 'The Space Between Us'. The film is unmistakably a romance with sci-fi elements within it, yet it is pretty hard to figure out who this film is aimed toward. With its romance elements, the film could've easily looked to have targeted a more female-dominated demographic, making this a complete rom-com. However, the film focuses mainly on Asa Butterfield's character Gardner and the romance aspects are a fairly small part of the film. The film also combines sci-fi elements but again, not a lot to make the film a definitive sci-fi movie. Amongst these elements are comedy moments, some action scenes and some deep drama. The biggest problem with 'The Space Between Us' is that it fails to combine everything smoothly making the film very tonally inconsistent. The film never commits fully to any of its aspects making some unintentionally hilarious moments due to moments feeling so out of place. This is most evident with the incredibly hilarious action scene featuring a plane crash which really came out of nowhere. Due to moments like these, it's hard to take the film seriously which it desperately needs you to especially as it reaches the end of the film.

Despite this, there is a charm to 'The Space Between Us' that stops it from being an unbearable film. There are doses of quality with some clever jokes, good performances and the basic story is an intriguing one. There is a good film within this concept, it's just that all of the pieces weren't necessarily right for this film. Asa Butterfield leads this film as he continues to build his name and credibility and he doesn't do himself any harm in this film. Butterfield does well reacting and playing off seeing Earth for the first time. The biggest problem is ultimately the script which jumps between moods too quickly, making the character seem foolish and very odd but not in a good way. Britt Robertson also is victim to the script as she plays very little part in the first hour of the film, only showing up a handful of times. Her character's background is very sceptical too as it brings up a trope of someone being unliked for seemingly no reason when in reality, they'd probably be the most popular person. Despite this, the character does progress well showing a troubled side throughout the film, showcasing trust issues despite wanting to get attached. Robertson's character Tulsa is a great example of the film's failings, there are moments that are well done but after that, there are a couple of bewildering moments.

Ultimately, there are things to enjoy about 'The Space Between Us'. There is an odd charm to it but there is no denying that the film has some terrible elements within it. This by no means is a good movie but it's most definitely not the worst. There is a good movie that could be made around this idea but unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be for 'The Space Between Us'.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'The Space Between Us'? If so, what did you think of the film? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie or not. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor