Empty Space Between Their Ears!
Mars is back on the big screen, this time with romance as its theme. A bright boy born on Mars to one of the first colonists grows up wanting to find out who his dad is. When he comes to Earth he discovers romance. The boy from Hugo looks wide-eyed enough in love but the dodgy science and sick teenagers romancing make for a colossal bore.
Odd that space agencies forgot to figure out that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Odder that they let the teenager fly back to Earth after sixteen years. And bizarre that despite the dome covering up the Martian dwellings, the boy Gardner Elliot (played by Asa Butterfield you saw in the Oscar winning Hugo), manages to Skyping in real time with a nerd rebel girl on Earth. Seriously? The wifi on Mars is that good? At least Matt Damon in The Martian made communication with Earth believable. And then the lad travels to Earth in search of his dad. By the time he reaches Earth, shouldn’t the girl have aged? Or are we supposed to believe that the technology is magic? Like Harry Potter’s Floo Powder?
Swallow those questions and we see the lad on Earth, getting lots of attention from scientists who discover that his Martian bones (Earthly DNA should have remained intact within the dome, no?) are delicate and fragile and his heart has enlarged. A boy with a big heart should be a hit during the Valentine’s day release the film has found, but young adult romances were done and dusted with Fault In Our Stars after the teenagers dying for society type romances of Hunger Games style films. The romance here may be sweet to people who have missed all the young adult movies, but it’s awful to watch the zero gravity kiss. Panda videos on social network site get more gushing reactions than this kiss. The grown-ups in the film starting with Gary Oldman are loud and busy doing ‘science things’ or their mothering (Carla Gugino who plays Kendra) seem very fake.
The boy and girl running away on the motorbike, the confetti falling on their ‘love’ is cute but not memorable enough. You don’t care for the end because it looks like the whole film was thought up in a brain vacuum. It’s a desperate attempt to get teenagers to the theatres. But the dodgy science will keep them facepalming instead of cooing like Valentine lovebirds.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)