The well has run dry. So in the near future, we are now living on Mars. An astronaut gets pregnant right before the big journey, and we get the first human being born on Mars. Being that Mars has terrific Wi-Fi, the Martian child wants to come see Earth when he finally becomes of age, and maybe meet his online crush along the way. It was probably difficult to read all of that without rolling your eyes. You’ve seen Y.A. movies of the same ilk of this, with the Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and so many other countless movies out there. It makes sense to try and do something different, so why not bring the party to space? Well, it isn’t too long before the Four Tops start to play, because it’s the same old song.
Robots can only add so much to a tired story.
The problem with this story is that it is trite and predictable. It takes about half the movie (and this is a two hour movie) for the kid to get to Earth, and there is nothing in the prelude that calls for this to last for this long. Honestly, it could have all been trimmed down to about twenty minutes, it is really all that it deserves. And then when he finally gets to Earth, it is nothing more than a standard fish out of water story and all of the tropes that follow. He doesn’t know how to walk correctly because of gravity, he is fascinated by rain, and he asks awkward questions. I understand the first two, but not the latter. It’s not like he is alone on Mars like Matt Damon in The Martian, he is properly socialized with the space station crew. It is almost like he is somewhat autistic, but this is never something that the story touches upon.
I would give the movie more credit if they were to make a bold choice like that.
This was a gigantic flop from a financial standpoint, not even recouping half of its $30 million budget (and that is internationally, not just domestically). I think that this is actually a good sign, as it shows that interest is finally fading in these Y.A. stories that are based on somewhat successful books. There is a lot in the storytelling that I was not a fan of, like the science not being tight, the script being filled with conveniences and the fact that everybody who is an adult is a bumbling idiot at their job and can be easily duped by a teenager. The only good thing I have to say about this is that I thought Britt Robertson was committed to her role and tried to make the most of the part, but regardless, this is a story that is played out.
The Space Between Us (2017) **
– Critic for Hire