The Space Between Us (2017)
Starring: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson, Scott Takeda
Directed by: Peter Chelsom
Written by: Allan Loeb
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr.
Oh boy, this doesn’t work at all.
As a romance, it doesn’t develop its characters enough to generate any chemistry between its young leads. As a science fiction film, it shows no respect for actual science. This story is set in the near future where apparently faster than light communications are possible, but we’re all still driving the same old cars. We can video conference with no lag between Mars and Earth, but we’re still driving around in gas guzzling pickup trucks, getting spotty wi-fi reception in restaurants, and using biplanes to dust crops. This movie isn’t just lazy, it’s bloody insulting.
The film plays out as a series of big over-the-top melodramatic cheesy moments, and doesn’t bother establishing why we should care about any of them. Things happen, Andrew Lockington’s overblown score tells us they’re important, but you’ll constantly wonder why everyone is getting so worked up. Every major twist in the story seems contrived, and the motivating forces driving each character frequently strain credibility.
The premise behind The Space Between Us isn’t set up very well, and then hardly explored at all. The love story just sort of happens, and the resulting cat and mouse game with NASA is just stupid. Characters in this awful film get to where they need to be emotionally and physically only because they have to, not because they earned it.
Keep your expectations very low for this one. This is a cheesy melodramatic romance story that shows no respect for character, science, or the audience’s intelligence.
Worst Moment: << spoilers! >>
To save Gardner Elliot’s life, they fly him into space because Earth’s gravity is too hard on his heart. But to escape Earth’s gravity, they have to subject him to even more pressure (G-force). Once “saved”, they take him back down to Earth (?) and presumably days later, put him in a rocket (more G-force!) to return to Mars.