The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us

In Theatres: 
Feb 03, 2017
Running Time: 
120 minutes

Love conquers all, even if you’re 140 million miles apart. The Space Between Us is sci-fi teenage love story between a boy who was born on Mars and a girl back on Earth, and it plays out like your typical young adult adaptation. But like most long distance relationships, the film just doesn’t work.


Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman) and his company are about to launch into space the first astronauts who will travel to Mars and build a sustainable colony, a dream he’s had since he was a child. Led by astronaut Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery) the team lift off without a problem, but two months into their journey she discovers that she is pregnant. Unable to cancel the mission, Sarah becomes the first person to give birth on Mars and unfortunately dies in the process. Not wanting to cause a PR disaster for his company , Nathaniel covers up the birth and Gardner (Asa Butterfield) spends his childhood being raised by scientists on Mars. As Gardner grows older, however, curiosity about Earth gets the better of him as he’s been secretly talking online with Tulsa (Britt Robertson). Eventually he manages to travel to Earth and goes on his own road trip to meet Tulsa, and together they go in search for his father.


The Space Between Us plays out like the cheesiest of young adult novels with sappy dialogue and hilariously terrible plot devices. The first ever colony on Mars is named East Texas, of all things! That’s the best they could think of? I found myself constantly saying that throughout the film. It could have been interesting to explore what it’s like to be the first person born on Mars and how they experience Earth for the first time, but instead we get this bland teenage love story with little chemistry between the two leads.


I like Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson on their own, but put them together as love interests and it’s like watching paint dry. I kept waiting for the film to do something interesting but it just kept getting more and more ridiculous. The Space Between Us only cares about what’s happening at any given moment and doesn’t care how it got there or whatever inconsistencies it has to ignore. Who cares how many cars they have to steal or that one minute Tulsa doesn’t know how to fly a plane and the next she’s doing so perfectly so long as the two are together exploring the world, right?


All the characters are woefully underdeveloped so there never really was any massive interest in Gardner meeting his father or the implications of Earth’s gravity on his body. I was just ready for the film to be over by the time all of the reveals came around in the third act. They simply had no impact. If anything they were laughable because they seem to be pulled out of thin air.


The Space Between Us is a lackluster film from Peter Chelsom. It starts off with an interesting concept but then completely falls apart once Gardner travels to Earth. It won’t matter all that much, though, because you’ll be too busy rolling your eyes to notice.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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