By ELVA K. ÖSTERREICH
Las Cruces Bulletin
Science fiction, love story, morality play, “The Space Between Us,” from STX Entertainment, finds its real talent in the magnificent cinematography, which begins at Spaceport America and captures the sweep of Colorado, New Mexico and the Pacific Ocean in their natural glory.
In a love story that bridges the gap between Mars and Earth, two teenagers find each other on the internet. Gardner Elliot, played by Asa Butterfield, was born to an astronaut on Mars who died in childbirth. Tulsa, played by Britt Robertson, is an angry, jaded teen who has been bounced from foster family to foster family throughout her life.
Gardner, born and growing in the low- gravity environment of Mars, isn’t physically built for the gravity of Earth. As a smart, creative 16-yearold, the limited environment of Mars East Texas Station is frustrating him. Finally, after some surgical support, he is allowed to make the trip. But once on Earth, faced with a barrage of medical testing, he makes his escape and embarks on a journey to find his father, whose identity is unknown.
The road trip, as Gardner finds his internet friend and the pair flee pursuers, is sometimes charming and sometimes annoying. The film is full of Gardner’s awe at encountering the experiences and colors of Earth, making for a flow of beautiful scenery.
In spite of being a film full of plot and logic holes, The Space Between Us is a basically enjoyable film with an engaging lead character, which Butterfield (who starred in “Hugo” and “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”) plays very well. His portrayal of a young man with an enlarged heart, walking around feeling twice as heavy as he ought to be, is poignant and professional.
The journey across country and roads I know well was a thrill, from the Colorado Rocky Mountains in their gold stages, to a hotair- balloon-filled sky in Albuquerque and finally to the beautiful anger of the Pacific. And so, for me, the unfortunate bits, like a stop in Las Vegas, which takes the kids hundreds of miles off their path and a silly dip into a sex scene, are outweighed by the scenery, performances and charming attention to visual details.