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Movie Review

After Earth

Reviewer Rating
User Rating

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sophie Okenedo, Zoe Kravitz

Duration: 100 minutes

Certificate 12A

1 of 4 Jaden doesn't have the cool charisma of his father and fails to lead the picture
Jaden doesn't have the cool charisma of his father and fails to lead the picture
2 of 4 The supporting characters, however good, are barely seen in favour of the two Smiths
The supporting characters, however good, are barely seen in favour of the two Smiths
3 of 4 Kitai blames himself for his sister's death, while Cypher blames himself
Kitai blames himself for his sister's death, while Cypher blames himself
4 of 4 One of the rare scenes which involve both leading actors on screen at the same time
One of the rare scenes which involve both leading actors on screen at the same time

With a predictable, plot hole-heavy storyline and cringe-worthy casting, this film really should blast off into space, as not even M. Night Shyamalan’s attention-grabbing graphics can't save this science fiction flop.

1,000 years after humans have fled Earth, General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) has led his peacekeeping organisation to victory against an enemy alien force after discovering he can ‘ghost’ - that is relinquish all fear inside to appear invisible to the Ursa (aliens) and capture them.

Cypher’s son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), having watched his sister die at the hands of an Ursa, trains to be a ranger. He has always been a disappointment to his father and they reluctantly embark upon Cypher’s final mission together. So far, so fascinating!

The special effects in the film are well executed but however good they are they can't cover up the underlying issues with the script and casting. The story, which was thought up by the former Fresh Prince himself, has huge plot holes. A crash landing on a quarantined Earth during the expedition is orchestrated and it doesn’t really matter what came beforehand or what the original mission was actually about.

For a sci-fi sceptic, the film is littered with heavy technological jargon, but that’s to be expected. The constant, matter of fact delivery from Will Smith, through a clenched jaw gets stale very quickly and the relationship breakdown between the two characters comes too late in the film.

Jaden Smith cannot handle a leading role as a young actor, especially as he is the only character involved in the action.

It’s an interesting set-up, for the entire movie the two main characters only communicate through video link-up. An injured Cypher is stuck in the cockpit of the damaged vessel barking orders, which Kitati receives and answers on a communication panel on his bodysuit. They are barely on screen together.

So you have a tiny supporting cast, two main characters relying on their solo acting ability and a huge budget set aside for pretty, high definition graphics. Does this a blockbuster make? The answer is no and at one point this was rumoured to become a trilogy?!

Save your money here as this film never belonged anywhere near Earth.

Patrick Hanlon




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