There’s nothing worse than a novel concept falling completely flat, which is the case in the new film The Space Between Us starring Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson and Gary Oldman. The movie is about an orphan kid named Gardner (Butterfield) who grows up in East Texas, but this is not the East Texas you are thinking of. This East Texas where Gardner resides is a NASA space colony on Mars. See Gardner’s Mom was an astronaut who got pregnant right before her trip to Mars and died giving birth to him. Problem number one with this movie considering NASA’s thorough health screenings would have likely found some anomaly before her trip into space. Since life in zero gravity and on the surface of Mars is much different from Earth’s environment, Gardner is born abnormal, which makes it impossible for him to survive on Earth. The premise is quite interesting, but unfortunately The Space Between Us is bogged down by a terrible script and another uncharismatic showing from Butterfield which is becoming the norm with this young actor.
To say the script is bad in the The Space Between is an understatement. The dialogue, movie science and plot direction is downright silly at times taking an intriguing idea about how to handle the first space birth and turns it into cheesy YA cinema with Gardner risking his health to go to Earth and meet his digital pin pal Tulsa (Robertson) who he has a crush on. Much of the cooler aspects of Gardner’s unique life is ignored so we can get dumb scenes in Costco during the young couples road trip across the United States. The plot is more than unbelievable, it’s downright sloppy and stupid. There are few different storylines that seem like they have potential in The Space Between Us, but go nowhere leading up to the film’s climax which is hastily thrown together in attempt to put a nice bow on everything.
The plot in The Space Between Us is a mess filled with sappy moments with Asa Butterfield once again delivering another lackluster performance in a lead role. This is starting to become a pattern with the young actor who has shown he cannot carry a movie at this point in his career. Butterfield could have taken the fish out of water concept and ran with it in attempt to salvage this movie, but instead has the same emotionless look on his face during the entire film. You’re on Earth for the first time, you would think he could give us another expression besides his bewildered look. It’s tough criticizing a young actor who is growing up on-screen in front of us, but just like Jaden Smith before him. Butterfield has proven he just doesn’t have what it takes to garner leading man status anytime soon. The Space Between Us is a poorly directed big dumb dud and Butterfield’s performance stands out for all the wrong reasons in a bad film. No wonder this project’s release date was delayed multiple times.
Overall, I give The Space Between Us 1 out of 4 stars.
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