Friday, February 3, 2017

THE SPACE BETWEEN US

In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that astronaut Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery) is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa (Britt Robertson). When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that
Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team of scientists and joins with Tulsa on a race against time to unravel the mysteries of how he came to be, and where he belongs in the universe. - STX Entertainment

Fine performances by Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson make this a pleasing little romantic adventure with a touch of sci-fi. After a slow start on Mars, the film picks up steam with the fugitive pair searching for Gardner's father on Earth. Hot on their trail are Gary Oldman as billionaire Nathaniel Shepherd, who funded the Mars colonization and feels responsible for Gardner's situation, and Carla Gugino as astronaut Kendra Wyndham, who became the mother figure for the young boy while on the red planet. B. D. Wong is also on board as the project director Tom Chen. As long as you don't think too hard about some of the situations the characters are thrust into, there's a bit of fun to be had along the way. Director Peter Chelsom ("Town & Country") focuses more on the road trip than the space illness and the surrounding easy-to-solve mystery. For the most part, his two engaging leads cover up the faults in the script. Vivid Martian landscapes and scenic backgrounds from Las Vegas to coastal California are captured through the lens of cinematographer Barry Peterson. Attempting to provide something for everyone, there's even a cute WALL-E -type robot, this ambitious-looking production falls short. Reaching for the stars, "The Space Between Us" has to settle for enjoyable matinee fare. (3 CAMS)

 Rated PG-13 / Running Time: 121 minutes