The Space Between Us – In this interplanetary adventure, shortly after arriving to help colonize Mars, an astronaut dies while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing.
While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, Gardner is eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars. But after his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Gardner joins with Tulsa on a race against time to unravel the mysteries of how he came to be, and where he belongs in the universe.
Mars is a hot topic of discussion these days. Mostly because its the focus of NASA’s attention and humanities desire to go beyond Earth. Depending on who you talk to, our time on Earth is limited. Whether its human influence on our changing climate or just a natural cycle of Earth’s ecosystem. Our resources are limited and as a species we are looking for alternatives. The Space Between Us tells the story of our first mission to Mars. Not just to visit the planet, but to live on it.
The twist is the lead astronaut is pregnant and has a baby on Mars. Gardner, played by Asa Butterfield, wants to go to Earth and find his one friend Tulsa, played by Britt Robertson. He soon finds out he cannot survive on Earth. The film is a love story, for a younger generation. Modernized with technology and an equally relevant topic discussion of life on another planet. Most critics gave the film a bad review but I have to disagree. Stop for a minute and remember the film is geared towards a younger generation, early teens and 20s.
There are plenty of cliche moments for Gardner but lets remember he grew up on Mars. I would expect him to fall into many of those cliches because he grew up surrounded by adults with no real interactions with kids his own age, expect for Tulsa. Still at the heart of the story are two kids from very different backgrounds who both grew up without their parents.
Butterfield and Robertson are both great in their roles. Butterfield manages to come across as naive and socially awkward which you would expect for his character. Robertson manages to bring a much more mature character who also has a sweet side, if you dig deep enough. Both actors are young and manage to play even younger characters. Butterfield is 20 and Robertson 27, playing characters who are somewhere in their late teens.
The supporting cast are mostly underused throughout the film but when they are used, they are used well. Gary Oldman, and Carla Gugino are both sincere in their roles. Pushing aside the love story, The Space Between Us also opens up some interesting discussions about Mars. What would happen if we tried to live on Mars? What about being born on Mars? This film may be classified as science fiction but the science reality isn’t all that far away. Just this year, NASA’s approved budget as a singular mission: Get to Mars. National Geographic even did a fictional film about the journey and life on Mars which was grounded more in science, then many hollywood films.
Maybe I am a softy for a good old fashion love story that mixes in modern scientific plot points. Heck, I tend to go opposite of the flow when it comes to critics. Both of the leads Britt Robertson and Asa Butterfield have bright futures in their careers. If you have not been following their other films, you should go check them out.
I give the film a 4/5. The Space Between Us is currently out on digital HD and will be available on home video release May 16th. You can preorder your copy on Amazon.com.
The Blu-Ray set comes with a few extra features:
- 3 Versions (Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD)
- Alternate Ending
- “Love” Featurette
- Deleted Scenes