Here is a love story that quickly turns into an insufferable display of sucrose interplanetary YA ickiness with the most guessable final twist of all time. It features a near-future space travel plot with an awful lot of corporate promotional branding from Nasa – like Ridley Scott’s The Martian but without that movie’s occasional sense of humour. There’s a persistent emo-fetishisation of illness, in the person of a teen visitor from Mars and his romantic infirmity. But it’s not so much The Man Who Fell to Earth as The Fault in Our Stars. Asa Butterfield steps up to his first adult lead as Gardner, whose astronaut mom died giving birth to him 16 years ago, en route to Mars. Since then, he’s been brought up on the Mars station. But he’s got a online relationship with cute Tulsa (Britt Robertson) back on Earth. She’s been in and out of foster homes her whole life; he’s told her he’s confined to home with a rare disease. But soon Gardner gets to come to Earth to see her, despite the health problems caused by the different atmosphere. Earthling authorities such as space travel director Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman) and his colleague Tom Chen (BD Wong) disapprove of this love, and Gardner is way out of his comfort zone, like a cross between Crocodile Dundee and ET. It’s a wan, anaemic film.
Peter Bradshaw is the Guardian's film critic