Summary: 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.
**There will be minor spoilers ahead. Just a head’s up.
The Cast and characters. I think the characters aren’t very well written so I only wanted to talk about the actors but I unfortunately have to go into the characters too.
Gary Oldman as Nathaniel Shepherd. He is the CEO of the program that wants to colonize Mars. That’s all that really matters because that’s pretty much his role in this film. Gary Oldman is always a good actor and I think he’s way too good for this movie. He gives this pretentious speech at the beginning and he gets to see his idea come to fruition but when he finds out one of his astronauts was pregnant, he keeps it a secret because the PR would be terrible. This character yells a lot, once Gardner comes to earth and runs off, and he never stops yelling. He doesn’t even want Gardner to be known to the world because it would ruin the company, or whatever. He would make some weird comments at the beginning that definitely put his storyline in the “completed” pile for me because I knew everything that was going to happen. But Oldman is good of course.
Asa Butterfield as Gardner Elliot. He is very intelligent and inquisitive, his social skills are low since he’s only ever met 14 people in his entire life due to him being raised on Mars. He chats with a girl from earth and it’s clear that they at least like each other. He has a robot tutor who he ends up hacking into to find out more about his parents. He discovers some info about his mother and his father and he wants to go to earth to try to find his father. He finally gets his chance to go to earth (after some surgeries to help his body adapt to Earth’s gravity), he gets a little ahead of himself and goes to find Tulsa so she can help him on his road trip. Gardner is the “fish out of water” character in that he knows nothing about Earth, so he has to watch clips from old movies about “courting”, or that he gets scared at seeing a person on a horse. But his character is harmless in that he’s a sweet kid. He’s a Manic Pixie Dream Boy. Asa Butterfield is fine in this role, though he can’t seem to catch a break in being in a good movie… but he’s a good actor, I honestly forget the kid is British, but he does the whole wide-eyed and emotional thing pretty well.
Carla Gugino as Kendra Wyndham. An astronaut and mother figure to Gardner. She tries to appeal to Nathaniel and other people involved that Gardner should get the chance to go to earth. Kendra cares about him, it’s easy to tell that while she didn’t want kids, Gardner is that kid she didn’t know she wanted. Her role after leaving Mars is to run around with Nathaniel, call him out on any of his bull and to try to get Gardner back as he might be in danger. That’s it really. She also makes a weird choice at the end of the movie. I mean, it was for a good reason, but not really for her anyway. Carla Gugino is fine, she’s a good actress too but her character is underwritten, especially as the movie goes on.
Britt Robertson as Tulsa. She is a “street smart” girl who has been shuffled around from foster home to foster home. She has a shield up and can be very defensive. When talking to Gardner in the chat room, she’s a bit more open, but we get a little glimpse of her life and while it doesn’t seem that bad, she’s unhappy. So when Gardner comes, she’s upset with him for not talking to her (ya know during the 6 or 7 months that he traveled from Mars to Earth) and then he talks her into going with him on the road trip to find his father. She’s still a bit stand offish at first but warms up to him. We only get a glimpse into her life once, and like I said it didn’t seem that bad and other times she just talks about it and I’m like, girl get over yourself. Britt Robertson can play this kind of role very well, I’ve seen her do it before, it’s her “thing”, so she’s fine too.