Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, After Earth is a sci-fi action adventure starring box-office powerhouse Will Smith and his real life son Karate Kid star Jaden Smith.
This film is set a thousand years in the future, after humans are forced to abandon an uninhabitable earth for a new home planet “Nova Prime”.
It looks pretty cool, nice scenery, futuristic cave-like apartments in hi-rise buildings. It would be lovely, except for the huge killer beetle monsters that also live there.
Apparently, they can smell the pheromones of our fear, which causes them to go all psycho and skewer us like little human kabobs. General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) has discovered how to “ghost,” which basically means if you feel no fear, the beetle guys can’t see you, and then you can kill them. Cool.
Kitai (Jaden Smith) is an intelligent ambitious teenager struggling in the shadow of his superstar dad. The two have a strained relationship due to the tragic death of Kitai’s older sister Senshi (Zoe Isabella Kravitz). Kitai is desperately seeking his father’s approval and affection while Cypher plays cold and distant. The always gorgeous Sophie Okonedo plays Kitai’s mom. In attempt to bridge the gap between father and son, Cypher invites his son along on his last mission.
What starts out as routine space mission to a training facility turns deadly when the ship is caught in an asteroid shower and has to crash land on the now deadly planet Earth. Cypher is badly injured so it’s up to Kitai to journey across the killer countryside to retrieve the SOS beacon that will save their lives. Oh and by the way one of those beetle monsters just happened to be on the ship, and it’s on the loose.
Will and Jaden play father and son well. Duh! Of course they are father and son, but they play this father and son well.
The movie isn’t overwhelmed with crazy fast camera shots and dizzying special effects, but it’s still exciting and visually entertaining.
The story may not have had Shymalan’s signature plot twists, but it was easy to follow and fun to watch.
There are some unexpected comical moments, that I really enjoyed.
While there is some violence, it’s suitable for the whole family.
A lot of Will Smith’s dialogue was over the top recycled Jedi training speech, I kept waiting for DarthVadar to appear.
It’s never discussed why we are forced to leave earth in the first place, I kept waiting for that to be revealed.
The characters speak in some kind of strange New Zealand/Southern accent, that none of the actors can do well. It’s distracting and confusing.
All in all, After Earth is one boy’s coming of age adventure film that’s an easy watch and suitable for the family.