This wasn’t a fantastic movie, but it wasn’t bad either. The premise was interesting. It’s about a boy named Gardner who was the first human born on Mars, which is where he grows up. He can’t go to Earth because his organs aren’t strong enough for the Earth’s gravity. When he’s sixteen, he finally gets a chance to go to Earth. His goal is to find a girl names Tulsa, who he has been messaging with over the internet for the past year or so from Mars, and to find out who his father is.
Gardner’s limited knowledge of Earth leads to some comedic situations. He has never seen the ocean, rain, or a horse before. He doesn’t know how technology on Earth works, or how to handle social situations.
In some ways, Tulsa is the opposite. She trusts no one and doesn’t give in to anything easily. It takes Gardner almost the entire movie to convince her that he really is from Mars. She gets frequently frustrated by his inadequate understanding of everyday things like figures of speech:
“He doesn’t speak sarcasm.”
The first half of the movie and the second half are very different. In the first half, it’s set mostly on Mars, in the settlement called East Texas. It’s science-y and slightly futuristic. The second half is set on Earth, and it looks more or less the same as it does today—although it is only set 20 years in the future. The biggest chance is that everyone has see-through computers. How weird is that? Who would want a see-through computer? The contrast between the two halves was interesting, but the movie would have been a little better if it was set farther in the future and involved a little more science and technology. In other words, the second half should have been a little more like the first half in terms of the visual effects and science. The issue of whether or not Gardner could survive on Earth was interesting, and maybe should have been explained more.
The acting was better than I expected after reading reviews before seeing the movie. The two main characters, Gardner and Tulsa, and the two other ones, Nathaniel Shepard and Kendra, were all realistic.
I was expecting the ending to be predictable, but it wasn’t. It actually ended better than I thought it was going to—but I did predict the twist from the time I saw the trailer, although I thought I was wrong throughout the movie until it happened.
About the score: some reviews I read said the score was too “throbby” and “cheesy”, but I thought it went well with the movie. (Also, most movie scores are throbby and cheesy, so even if this was, it’s nothing new.)
Three and a half stars, maybe an extra half a star for the funny parts.