THE SPACE BETWEEN US
Direction: Peter Chelsom
Actors: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson
Rating: 1.5 / 5
Close on the heels of Collateral Beauty, here’s another otherworldly melodrama based on a scrappy script by Allen Loeb. Rife with plot contrivances, lame platitudes (‘Courage is fear that has said its prayers’) and wearisome life lessons, The Space Between Us is cotton-candy fluff squarely aimed at the teenage crowd.
For everyone else, the love-against-the-odds premise threatens to unravel from the get-go.
It all begins on Mars with the first human born in outer space. After his astronaut mother dies in childbirth, the little boy grows up friendless on the Red Planet.
Sixteen years later, the ‘alien’ (Asa Butterfield) develops a crush on a beautiful young earthling (Britt Robertson) with whom he has initiated a long-distance online relationship.
Next, the former star-child falls to Earth, a la Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire, as it were, to unite with the girl of his dreams.
Together, they set off to track down the father the boy never had a chance to know.
Now on the lam from NASA officials led by the mission mastermind (Gary Oldman), the runaway couple steals cars, hijacks a biplane and even embarks on a trip to Vegas.
In fairness to veteran British director Peter Chelsom, he strives to fashion family-friendly entertainment out of this paper-thin plot, but his efforts merely yield a teary fish-out-of-water odyssey with seemingly no point to get to.
It doesn’t help that Butterfield and Robertson have little charisma and even less chemistry. Two hours is too high a price to pay for this saga that goes nowhere.
Watch the trailer for Space Between Us here