Movie: After Earth

A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.

• Directed by:  M. Night Shyamalan
• Screenplay by:  Gary Whitta and M. Night Shyamalan
• Story by:  Will Smith
• Produced by: Caleeb Pinkett, Will Smith, James Lassiter and M. Night Shyamalan
• Executive Producer:  E. Bennett Walsh
• Cast:  Jaden Smith and Will Smith

After having read awful International reviews, we decided that we should just watch it without any expectations. Honestly, it was a tad tough because I thought Jaden acted well in The Karate Kid, Will Smith is always a good suave actor and my opinion of M. Night Shyamalan remains high even thiugh his movies after the Sixth Sense were terrible.

While the movie didn't quite thrill me, I liked the poignant moments that Kitai and Cypher had during intense moments. Separated by distance and being able to watch everything that is happening, yet being helpless to help or to reach out had me focussed on most of the movie. The connection between a father who has turned rusty in his role as a father and a child that seeks to please...I think there is much that can be developed had the movie not hurried to end.

While some question why the title 'After Earth', to me its just a title. What I liked was that it reminded us that unless we all take care of Mother Earth, soon we will poison earth and along the way change nature. In the movie, its a scary thought that earth has evolved to have its temperature drop every 10 minutes. Its also 'scary' that because we harmed earth, the animals evolved to turn ferocious with the ultimate aim to kill humans. A spoiler...there was one animal that did not want to kill human(s).

I must say that CG wasn't all too awesome but there has been some good ones e.g. the baboon attack at the beginning of the film and my fave was when the fern curled as the temperature dropped. However, I must say the bird did look quite strangely animated in certain scenes.

Certainly not the best movie for 2013 and M. Night Shyamalan fails to live up to his Sixth Sense success but its a good one compared to his previous 2 flops. No doubt Will Smith was still at his best. Jaden Smith is not the best actor with some scenes being questionable whether the boy is apt for the role. But be kind to him and judge Jaden based on his last movie The Karate Kid. He has certainly bloomed into a much better actor but certainly a far cry from his real life dad Will Smith who plays all his roles seamlessly easy and well.
Jaden Smith as Kitai

The hubster rated it 2/10. But I think I will happily give it 4/10 because of the loose ends in the movie. Was it released with Father's Day in mind? I am not sure but I will say, its a good movie for daddy and kid to watch together for the subtle message that it has for busy fathers and often misunderstood kids.

“Fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” - my fave line in the movie.

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