The Space Between Us (2017)5:20 AM
What's Your Favourite Thing About Earth?
"The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be". A trailer that gave the whole film away - are there any surprises left in The Space Between Us?
I didn't have high hopes for The Space Between Us - the trailer gave away basically every plot point so I honestly didn't expect to be surprised, blown away or even like the film. I was right to feel this way. The Space Between Us is really weak - there isn't much to praise about it & it's possibly one of the most cringe-worthy and cheesy films I have seen in a while - and I saw xXx just last month. The thing with this film is it's harmless - people are going to like the film because it's supposedly fluffy and sweet but I also think its incredibly transparent as I saw through all of that. Admittedly, this is a pretty interesting and promising concept but the film does nothing exciting with it.
The performances in the film are nothing to write home about - Asa Butterfield is fine but I feel like he has done much better. On paper, he probably thought this was his 'The Martian' and he was going to blow everyone away at such a young age. He was incorrect. He is just fine - I'm not going to lie and say he was awful because he wasn't, he did his best with the material but that still wasn't good enough. I used to have a soft spot for Britt Robertson - she is a star I thought was promising and one to watch. However, a couple years down the line - she has consistently starred in films that are slated on by critics - Tomorrowland, Mother's Day, The Longest Ride, A Dog's Purpose oh and The Space Between Us - what's one common theme in all of these films? Britt Robertson. I'm starting to think she just isn't a very good actress and that's why none of the films she are in are good overall - she brings them down. Robertson is pretty annoying and everyone role she plays is basically the same - an annoyed teen. She wasn't horrible and I've seen much worse but I will be wary about films she stars in in the future. There also really wasn't much chemistry between the two leads - I didn't believe that they were a couple and I didn't care that much about their relationship. This could also be down to Robertson's character being very pessimistic and grumpy. Gary Oldman is in this film - surely he can be a saving grace? Absolutely wrong. Oldman is probably the worst in terms of all the performances - I felt like he did 3 or 4 different accents throughout the film and I was not convinced by his performance at all. I'd compare it to Brent Spiner in Independence Day: Resurgence. Carla Gugino was ok but I don't think this will be a career highlight for her. The acting in The Space Between Us ranges from poor to mediocre - nobody is brilliant I'm afraid.
The one thing that The Space Between Us should have got right is the story - it's an interesting concept. Seeing the world through a teen's eyes who has never lived on the planet for the first time should be fascinating. I think Room did a better job of conveying this from a child who had been stuck in a room on Earth all of his life. The things that Gardner (Butterfield) was amazed by were the most simple and boring things - a horse, an eye wash station and sunglasses. Gardner kind of stopped being fascinated with the world pretty quickly and he also miraculously knew how to drive a car. There also wasn't much development into the central relationship - I'm still not sure how the two knew each other as Butterfield's face suddenly pops up on Robertson's futuristic computer and they start talking. If this was the first time they met, it was stupid. If this was not the first time, why didn't we get shown the first time? The Space Between Us also didn't utilise the location of out-of-space very well - this was probably down to budgetary limitations but even when we were in space, it wasn't cool, we may as well have just been in a room on Earth (where the set was). The camera movement when the characters were in space was also very disorientating - to make it look like they were floating, the camera would wobble around as if it was floating on water. I caught on to this pretty fast and once I was aware of it, I kind of started to feel seasick. The story is the generic 'finding a loved one' kind of story but it takes what could be quite intimate and simple and turns it into something stupid and ridiculous.
The Space Between Us is incredibly cringe-worthy, predictable and dumb. I will admit, I found myself enjoying the film up until the final act - it was pretty funny and harmless but then the final act came around and it just lost me and I lost any hope or respect I previously had for the film. There are some lines in this film that will make your eyes roll as they are so cringe-worthy. For instance, throughout the film (maybe twice), Butterfield asks others what their favourite things about earth are. Then in one of the final moments, Butterfield asks Robertson and she replies 'You'. I actually said this response aloud before Robertson got the chance to because I knew it was coming and when it did, it kind of made me feel a little sick. It was the most predictable, cliche and stupid line ever. The film also tries to throw in a twist that the man in the picture Butterfield is obsessed with is actually his uncle not his Dad. His Dad ends up being Oldman. The funny thing is, his uncle hasn't aged one bit from the photo to present day (16 years has passed) so if we go by the films logic, Oldman would have looked the same 16 years prior when Butterfield was born. Butterfield's mother looks about the same age as the uncle - way way younger than Oldman looks. Not only does this feel uncomfortable because the mother and Oldman look like they could be father and daughter, not in a relationship. It's also incredibly stupid because the mother is the head astronaut but she has slept with the leader of the mission which could suggest she slept her way into the superior position - why can't a female character be strong, independent and successful without the suggested help of a man for once? The mother also gives birth and dies whilst on the mission - surely she would have known she was pregnant before going on the mission? If not, why would she have unprotected intercourse just before going on a 4 year mission? The film's logic is just plain stupid. There are also many other big stupid moments such as Robertson's character repeatedly stealing different cars and getting away with it. She also manages to fly a plain and almost land it on a main road without any mention of this afterwards.
The Space Between Us could have been a harmless and dumb film up until the final act where everything goes a little stupid and loopy. The acting is pretty poor, average if best and the chemistry between the two leads is anything but electric. The film does nothing interesting with a promising concept and the story is the most simple and generic one that is given away in the trailers. The worst thing about The Space Between Us however is the film's logic - this is why Hollywood gets a bad name because anything goes in this film without any consequences or further mention. The camera is disorientating at times but the film does have some funny moments. The dialogue is also very cringe-worthy, cliche and cheesy. What's my favourite thing about earth? The fact that films are generally a lot better than this.
What did you think of THE SPACE BETWEEN US? What's your favourite thing about Earth? - comment below!
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