I saw an advanced screening of The Space Between Us and it is exactly what it looks like from the trailers: a cluttered mess.
Garner is a boy who was born on Mars. He is stuck on Mars with only scientists as company as his body cannot handle Earth’s atmosphere. He eventually is able to come to Earth with the understanding that he would need to be carefully monitored to make sure that he would be ok but soon after arriving he escapes and searches for the girl who he hade been talking to while on Mars and to find out about his father.
Sounds like a lot right? It most certainly is. There is a movie that could be made about Gardener’s life on Mars alone. There could be a movie about him learning about Earth and another for the search of his father. Instead, we get all of these elements squished into a two hour movie. Mind you , if the movie’s elements were done better this wouldn’t be an issue but most of them were handled poorly.
Garner’s life on Mars was only shown breiefly and, as a result, I wanted to know far more about it than was shown. I would have enjoyed watching Garner growing up on Mars and seeing the new experiences of science through his eyes but by the time we see him in the film, he is already bord of his life on Mars.
The scenes where Garner is learning about life on Earth are a lot of fun. They were the best moments of the film. However, these moments are constantly interrupted with the romance subplot (oh did I forget to mention that? Just add it to the list of story elements that make this movie a mottled mess). The leads have good chemistry but its just the same old romance plot that you’ve seen in most romances.
The father storyline was the one that was suppose to have a “big twist” but the twist was one that I predicted almost as soon as the film started. Honestly, the father’s part of the story may open the most plotholes in the whole film. But since I want to avoid spoilers I won’t go into why this is.
The acting is generally good. Garner was awkward without being annoying and the romantic interest (Tulsa) was at times over acting but generally her performance was likable. Nathanial (the one that created the Mars program) is the worst however. His actor, Gary Olden is chewing on the scenery of the film and its distracting.
My final thoughts on the film are this: watch the trailer of the film and, if it seems like something you would enjoy, go see it. I know I have been harsh on the movie but honestly, a lot of the issues I had with the movie were not surprising as a result of the trailer which I had previously seen for this movie.
This movie won’t amaze you and it won’t be a new sci-fi classic (like why the release date was changed from December 16th to February 3rd as to not compete against a classic sci-fi like Star War) but it is a film with merits with solid acting and a continuously moving story. For me however, one watch was more than enough.