After Earth (2013)

After Earth (2013)
  • Time: 100 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Mystery
  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Isabelle Fuhrman


One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai. When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.


  • Two hours waste of time… First of all, there is not enough here to call it a movie, a part of a movie perhaps. The special effects are decent, but the acting is terrible. Will Smith’s son Jaden is really bad in my opinion. The only reason why he keeps getting passes is because of his father who should give up on him and try to direct his son into another industry. Also, the dialogue was not believable, the actions of the characters was cringe-worthy and not enough time was spend explaining the reasons behind what happened, plus there were obvious plot holes that had me coming up with better and simpler solutions to their problems than the premise of the film was based on. Not worth watching!

  • n spite of his name not being shown anywhere in the trailers, or in the opening credits, After Earth is the latest movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I think we are all familiar with his infamous fall from grace so I see no need in explaining his whole career. I’ll just say I haven’t seen the 3 movies he made before After Earth (The Last Airbender, The Happening and Lady in the Water) – the ones that are globally recognized as terrible – therefore I won’t be able to compare them to After Earth. But one thing was pretty clear ever since it became public that Shyamalan was directing a new movie: that both the critics and the audience are going to hate it, simply because of its association with M. Night Shyamalan’s name. However, what people fail to see is that After Earth is much more of a Will Smith movie than a Shyamalan movie. Will Smith came up with an idea for the plot, he produced the movie, personally hired Shyamalan to direct it (who in their right mind would do such a thing?) and even directed a huge part of the movie. That, of course, doesn’t mean After Earth is a good movie. It’s a boring love child of Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan that should have been aborted.

    In the distant future, after mankind had been evacuated from Earth, it colonised some random planet (?). Unfortunately for mankind, there are some aliens on that planet (who are never shown) that, for some reason (?), deploy other alien creatures called Ursas (?) to kill humans. Ursas are practically blind and can only see humans if the humans are afraid, they sense the pheromones the humans excrete when they are afraid (?). The art of not being afraid and, therefore, being invisible to Ursas is called ghosting (?). Anyway, to skip through the boring parts, general Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his son Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) crash their spaceship on Earth and need to survive. Also, there is an Ursa with them on Earth. As you can see, the movie’s plot is rather confusing and weak. Even if you manage to sit through tons and tons of exposition, the movie’s back story is never fully explained and really falls flat in that aspect.

    Basically, the whole plot is one of After Earth’s problems. Beside the back story not being fully developed, the movie is also tediously predictable, boring and infested with cliches (the most prominent being ‘the last job before retirement’ cliche). Furthermore, there is a bunch of plot holes – for example, neither Will nor Jaden’s characters are ever shown eating or drinking anything those few days they are on Earth. After analyzing the whole narration, I got a certain ‘Signs’ vibe from it, which isn’t a good thing since I’m not a big fan of the mentioned movie. So, yes, After Earth is just another modern Sci-Fi movie that replaces visual effects for good storytelling. The visuals themselves are astonishing from time to time, but that is a small detail that doesn’t redeem the rest of the movie.

    After Earth’s other big problem is the acting. The always likeable Will Smith spends the majority of the movie bound to a chair and gives a bland, emotionless performance. Jaden Smith isn’t laughably horrible, but he could have been much better. I know that child actors often aren’t as versatile or as good as their older colleagues, but in movies like this one – where the main actors’ performance carries the whole movie – a more talented individual is an absolute necessity. It is obvious Jaden landed a role in After Earth only because he’s Will Smith’s son. Whether you call that nepotism or something else, one thing remains as a fact – to cast Jaden as the lead was a mistake. In conclusion, After Earth is a seriously flawed movie you’ll only enjoy if you don’t care about coherent storytelling and decent acting.

    Rating: 4/10

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  • Just when you thought Will Smith’s career had gotten back on track with MiB III, he hits you with a really bad movie. And this time it’s not M. Night Shyamalan’s fault.

    Sometime in the future, Earth has become inhabitable for reasons unknown and the human species sets up a colony on Nova Prime. For some reason there are aliens that smell fear or something, so an army of “rangers” are established. Cypher Raige (Will Smith) is the leader of this supposed peacekeeping army and he has just come home from a long stretch of fighting. His son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), is feeling somewhat sad and his father decides to take him with Kitai to his next posting (supposedly his last). Their ship crashes on the wastes of Earth and Kitai must save them by recovering the emergency beacon in the tail wreckage of their ship.

    This movie is so bad, I got bored pretty early and started reading about the production of the film instead. Apparently it was supposed to take place in a modern setting and Will Smith was supposed to take his son on a camping trip, but they have a massive car crash. So basically, the same movie but marginally better. Then Will Smith thought he could make more money by setting the film in space, especially when the opportunity of cross-platform franchising comes up (basically more money).

    I should point out the people who financed this movie: Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Caleeb Pinkett (see the pattern). All that for one kid. Who can’t act. I am of course talking about Jaden Smith. I’m guessing every producer and director in Hollywood saw that this kid can’t act and rejected him, so his parents made him a $130 million movie and hired a director who has made a good movie since 2000 (Unbreakable was a good flick, no matter what anybody says).

    But we can’t blame all this on M. Night. He didn’t even get to put his Shyamalanian twist ending on it. Apparently the only directing he did was telling the cameraman where to point the camera. Smith directed both his son and himself. The other actor’s in the film kind of wander around aimlessly. The only good acting came from the only female actors, Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz (daughter of Lenny).

    Verdict: If you want post-apocalyptic Earth, go watch Oblivion. But if you’re at that stage, just watch WALL-E instead. Also if Will Smith treats his kid like this in real life, that’s one messed up family.

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  • “I’ve heard stories of Earth. A paradise. Until we destroyed it.”

    As a SF fan I found the images shown in this film sometimes simply beautiful. The landscapes, futuristic buildings and high-tech spaceship. Not that the images could match that of “Oblivion”. And that’s about it, because the story on its own was pretty boring ,annoying, not exactly masterful and inventive.

    The magic box with computer effects was used repeatedly and delivered some gems of images. Like the free fall and the pursuit by the giant eagle. The part in the nest with the attack by the lions was also nicely done. Only the Ursas couldn’t convince me. The story was predictable and monotonous. It surprised me that the giant eagle didn’t return Jaden out of gratitude.

    About the acting I can be short and concise. Will Smiths role didn’t need any performance skills. Setting up an emotionless expression on his face the whole time isn’t that hard to do. No fear and no feelings. A military commander, who follows his son remotely after the crash and gives advice once and a while. The only acting he showed was when he had to put on a painful grimace and experiences flashbacks. About Jaden I can be even shorter: he paid very good attention to his father’s performances in other films. A plastic face without a lot of emotions and no acting talent. Apparently this movie and the help of his father is just a way to lead him to eternal fame.

    I like most movies in which Will S. acts and I think that the weak point in this movie is his son Jaden. In “The Pursuit of Happiness” it was bearable. But that was because of his childlike innocence, I guess.

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