‘What’s your favourite thing about Earth?’
As far as taglines for films go, that’s one of the cheesier ones attached to a sci-fi. But hey, The Space Between Us isn’t just a sci-fi – according to its Wikipedia page, it’s a ‘teen romantic science fiction adventure film’, which is a lot of ground to cover. There’s got to be room for cheesy somewhere in there, right?
And a ‘teen romantic science fiction adventure film’ is light years away from the films that lead, Asa Butterfield, took with him on the way up the Hollywood ladder. He’s that guy who played Bruno in 2008’s The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas and Hugo in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo back in 2011. More recently, the whole ‘teen science fiction adventure film’ thing seems to have appealed to him, appearing as Ender Wiggin in 2013’s Ender’s Game and Jacob Portman in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children which is out this month, in fact. But the romance thing, that part’s relatively new – for both his acting résumé, and his character, Gardner Elliot.
Gardner’s a teenager who was born on Mars, sometime in the future when it’s possible for humans take some sort of residency up there, and after coming to Earth and experiencing all it has to offer, he starts to pursue the most important thing that being human has to offer – love. And it sounds adorable, if not slightly cheesy – but we’ve covered that already. After his body starts to collapse on itself from a lack of familiarity for Earth’s gravity, other members of the space crew race to return him to Mars to save him. Chaos, and the determination of a teenager in the midst of love, ensues. And Gary Oldman is in it! He’s in everything, that one. We’re not complaining.
Played a little like an underdog right now, The Space Between Us isn’t going to be the next Interstellar or The Martian, but it’s looking to take a different perspective on wide-eyed first loves and fading teenage innocence, and with such strong leads as Butterfield and co-star Britt Robertson (Dan In Real Life, Scream 4, Tomorrowland), such a perspective is surely something to pay attention to. Before we know it, the whole of Hollywood will be taking note – The Martian? Interstellar? Guardians of the Galaxy who? Time to inject some good old ‘teen romantic science fiction adventure’ into those old things.
The Space Between Us, directed by Peter Chelsom, is due to be released in the UK by Entertainment Film on 10th Feburary 2017. Certificate PG.