After Earth ~ My Review
This is one of those films that gathers so much hate that I am left scratching my head. I really enjoyed this movie. In this review I will list my typical pros and cons along with my thoughts about the movie. I will also end he review by examining why I think this movie is so hated when it really doesn’t deserve it. The movie Stars Will Smith, his son Jaden Smith and it was directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
Here is a synopsis of the plot from wikipedia:(I just hate writing synopsis)
In the future, an environmental cataclysm forces the human race to abandon Earth and settle on a new world, Nova Prime. One thousand years later, the United Ranger Corps, a peacekeeping military commanded by General Cypher Raige, comes into conflict with alien creatures who intend to conquer Nova Prime. Kitai blames himself for the death of his older sister Senshi at the hands of an Ursa attack some years ago when he was a young child. he father and son have an estranged relationship with Cypher being away on missions. Kitai, younger and smaller than most cadets, trains to become a staunch and respected Ranger like his father. Despite his physical capabilities, his application is rejected due to his emotional behavior, and he has to break the news to Cypher, who’s seemingly disappointed in him. During space flight, their ship is caught by an asteroid shower, forcing them to transport through a wormhole to safety and crash-land on the now-quarantined Earth. Inside the torn fuselage of the ship, only Kitai (strapped to a walled row of seats) and Cypher (with both legs broken) have survived. They find the main distress signal beacon is damaged. Cypher instructs Kitai to locate the tail section of the ship, which broke off on entry to the atmosphere, since inside it is the backup beacon, which they can use to signal the Rangers for a rescue; if he fails, the pair will face a most certain death. Cypher gives Kitai his double bladed Cutlass, a wrist communicator and six capsules of a fluid that enhances oxygen intake so he can breathe in Earth’s low-oxygen atmosphere. Kitai sets off on a journey to find the beacon and this journey will either change his life or take his life dooming them both.
I think that is enough of a synopsis without giving away what happens.
Now here is my pro and con list for the movie.
Acting was very good! Both Will and Jaden Smith did a great job in their respective roles. More on that later.
Great CGI and well designed alien creatures.
Nova Prime looks excellent!
Nice simple story with great action and adventure and a lot of heart as Father and Son struggle with survival and their personal issues.
Not enough Nova Prime. Yeah, I know this movie takes place on Earth over 1,000 years in the future. But Nova Prime looks very interesting. Wouldn’t mind seeing a movie filmed in that setting.
Some of the flash back scenes with Kitai and his sister were a little confusing. I had a hard time figuring out what was going wrong.
I was at a loss trying to figure out why this movie is so reviled. On further examination I can see why people turned up their noses at this movie. My opinion is that it boils down to simple prejudice. Lets start with the director, M. Night Shyamalan. His pinnacle success was with the movie The Sixth Sense. Although he did make other successful movies his star did decline as film after film tried to recapture the past glories of the Sixth Sense. His previous movie, The Last Air Bender, based of a series of comic books, strayed so far from its source material that many fans of the series were very pissed off at him. Therefore some judged After Earth just because his name was attached to it. Although to be honest, the studio really did down play the fact that M. Night Shyamalan was directing this film.
I have also leaned there are some people who cannot stand Jayden and say he is a lousy actor and they cry nepotism being the only reason he is in movies in the first place. I disagree. I really enjoyed him in the remake of The Karate Kid. critics and fans say he did not do a good job acting. I say baloney. These scene where he is arguing with his father right before he does the cliff dive is very emotional and very well acted.
Will Smith is also taking some flack for his acting in this movie. He is very cold and stoic in this movie. People are used to seeing Will acting where his personal charm just oozes off the screen. So for that reason I can understand why they’d be disappointed. However, I think the role called for him to be a distant and cold father figure and I think he actually played that role very well.
I do think this is a solid little science fiction movie and really does not deserve the hatred it gets. I don’t think this movie will be getting a sequel which is sad because I’d love to see more of Nova Prime.