‘After Earth’ starring the father and son team, Jaden and Will Smith opens this weekend, May 31, 2013. The movie from the mind of Jaden’s dad (yes, Will wrote it) is a story set 1000 years after the destruction of earth. Gen Cypher and his son Kitai find themselves the sole survivors stranded on the toxic planet, Earth after their mission goes wrong.
The fearlessly calm Gen. Cypher (known for his ghosting abilities) is hurt and unable to walk. He must rely on his son to retrieve a beacon miles away on this hostile planet, so that they may signal for help. Kitai’s quest to save their lives is a test of bravery for both father and son.
Sounds great in theory, but its execution is a different story. The setting of this saga is visually stimulating. Yet, something is not quite right for this hostile future Earth. For example, one begins to wonder why Kitai’s encounters with blood thirsty creatures happen sequentially. It seems more likely that each hostile would converge simultaneously since he is the newest morsel in the food chain and they would fight for their prize as seen in any other decent sci-fi movie.
Although, Jaden who has had phenomenal success as the ‘Karate Kid’ is every teen and preteen girl’s ideal, he is not able to carry a movie by himself. Not to mention an accent that comes and goes throughout the movie.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, (‘Devil’ and ‘The Last Airbender’) the weak story would have fared better with more action from Cypher. Inaction by Will (who is an action hero) was excruciatingly boring and uneventful despite the supposed dire circumstances.
It is also noteworthy that the film was filled with humorous scenes, although some may not have been intended to be so. Yet, some scenes were so over-the-top that they appeared to be funny.
The film also stars Sophie Okonedo as Cypher’s wife Faia and Zoë Kravitz as his daughter; Senshi appears briefly in flashbacks in the film.
‘After Earth’ is a film whose concept seems promising however, in reality it is clearly a flawed undertaking.