From the trailers ‘The Space Between Us’ looked like nothing more than a watered down version of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. Possibly offering something romantic for a younger audience in the same week that saw ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ get its cinematic release. Taking on the lead performance is young actor, Asa Butterfield. He’s now been in this industry for ten years but would this be a notable entry into his work so far?
The synopsis for the film is pretty straight forward; astronaut doesn’t realise she’s pregnant and subsequently gives birth on Mars. Butterfield plays this offspring, Gardner. The film follows his journey back to Earth and his relationship with Tulsa (Britt Robertson). The narrative ranges in quality as the film progresses. As a whole ‘The Space Between Us’ may struggle to maintain the attention of older audiences members. Certainly the section of the film on Mars at the beginning isn’t the most entertaining. However once things move to Earth there is a considerable uptake in pace. The film goes between being entertaining and being a little slow until the end credits role. The finale to the picture is a little fantastical as well but if you have bought into the concept of the film you shouldn’t have too many problems with it. The writing of the story overall is ok, as I’ve said the film has its moments which are more dull but the opposite is also true. Even in sections I thought it was quite profound through the content of some of the conversations our characters had with each other.
The two lead performers, Butterfield & Robertson do well here. Butterfield puts his awkwardness to great use as Gardner gets used to life on Earth. He brings a real charm to his character, one that is clearly infectious not only to Tulsa but the audiences watching. Tulsa is a very relatable character and Robertson conveys this aspect of her personality well. Combined together the pair have believable chemistry and create a romance that feels much more authentic than expected. The romantic element, for the most part, is reined in the correct amount throughout the film. Only one scene took things too far in terms of the sop. The balance of adventure and romance was worked well and meant that as an audience member you were quite happy to tag along without feeling like a third wheel. Leads aside there aren’t too many other roles. Gary Oldman stars as the brains behind the whole Mars operation. It was hard to judge his performance. At times there is evidence of his acting ability but in other moments he did seem to be phoning it in slightly. This certainly won’t be a role he’ll be remembered for, nonetheless he’s passable for his involvement here. Carla Gugino completes the main cast with a good performance and offers a strong chemistry with all the other characters.
So whilst the film will be most enjoyed by those of a younger age group there is still entertainment to be had. Once you endure a few lackluster sections of narrative you’ll find the charm of this young innocent romantic adventure working away at you. With good performances here from the majority of the cast they elevate what could have been a by the numbers film to something with a bit more authenticity. ‘The Space Between Us’ will be forgotten about in a few months time but you could do a lot worse at the cinema right now. It will work for the intended audience and if those not in that group can find some enjoyment too surely everyone’s happy?
Rating – 7/10
Question: What’s your favourite Asa Butterfield film?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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