Director: Peter Chelson
Writers: Allan Leob (screenplay), Stewart Schill (story)
Starring: Britt Robertson, Asa Butterfield, Gary Oldman
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be.When I was asked to go to the screening for this movie, I went for two reasons only: Gary Oldman and Asa Butterfield. Gary Oldman, well, he’s amazing in every single role he does, and Asa I had seen as the main character (Jake) in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and I was floored by how good an actor he is. I didn’t even bother to see the preview for this movie for I knew I’d like it because of these two actors, and I wasn’t wrong.
The premise of the movie is that Gardner (Asa Butterfield) was born on Mars after his mother (who went not knowing she was pregnant) was sent on a mission there and, due to the incredibly high risk it would be to bring him back to Earth so young, he ends up being raised on Mars by one of the fellow astronauts, Kendra (Carla Gugino), after his mom dies giving birth to him. Gardner grows up surrounded by the best technology and by some of the smartest people on Earth, so he was incredibly tech savvy. But, despite all of that, he craved the company of other humans his age, he wanted to be on Earth and explore it and all its beauty. He gets his wish and comes to Earth. That’s when the movie gets more fun: seeing Gardener learn how to handle gravity and walk with it, seeing see the ocean and so many other wonderful things through his eyes was great. Because he wanted to speak to someone of his own age, he had managed to hack into a messenger without anyone knowing and befriended a high school girl who called herself Tulsa (they never reveal her real name) –played by Britt Robertson –and she shows him around. These two kids have an incredible adventure together, and it was even more fun to see it as an audience member.
Asa Butterfield’s acting in this movie was superb, in my opinion. His acting while pretending to not know how to walk with gravity was awesome, his goofiness due to how giddy he was to be on Earth made the movie fun and so worth watching. But then he had his mushy moments, and I am not mushy at all nor into mushy movies, yet his acting and the things he went through made me melt inside and almost teared up (it takes a lot to make me cry lol). My favorite part was seeing how innocent he was around people, but mostly how he would react to seeing all things for the first time: the ocean, flowers, mountains, seeing the sun rise or setting. It honestly makes you appreciate those things we take so much for granted since we see it all the time. I also like that he would ask every single person he’d meet “What’s your favorite thing about Earth?” and the reactions he’d get.
Gary Oldman, as per usual did an amazing job acting. There’s a slight twist at the end about his character that, although they make you suspect it throughout the movie, they completely divert you with something else so you go “nah, can’t be.” I love his acting, and I love that they kept his accent (as opposed to Asa’s; they had him do an American accent). He portrays emotion in a way not many actors do: with him, I feel like it’s real what he is feeling and going through –and this movie was no exception. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I always talk about the lesson to be learned from every movie and, of course, this one is no exception. One of the things that can be learned from this movie is to learn to appreciate some of the things we take for granted: the beauty that nature gives us, the warmth of the sun, the ocean, fields of flowers, the stars. But, most importantly appreciating life and human contact. Gardner took no interaction for granted and smiled at everyone, regardless of how rude they were to him or what names they called him. He was always happy and wished well to everyone else. Sometimes, we get caught up in our own lives, in our heads, and focus on the tragedies and misfortunes and inconveniences we go through, and let them harden us. I can’t say I am innocent of making that mistake, but this movie was truly a reminder for me to not let the bad things that have been happening to me dampen the wonderful things that also have been happening to me. It reminded me that nothing is to be taken for granted, especially family and friends. I would recommend this movie if you’re into mushy movies with cute messages (it also has lots of funny moments). Trust me, I am not one of those people that like those movies, yet I thoroughly enjoyed it and I was glad I was sent to see this movie, for it really made me re-think some of the ideas and reactions I had been having as of late. I have never wanted to become a bitter and sad person, and I was on my way to becoming one, but this movie hit home and it stroke a chord that made me wake up and realize that life isn’t that bad after all. Now you tell me, what’s your favorite thing about Earth? (Also check out my interview with Asa Butterfield on a different post)