After Earth FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
Columbia Pictures, Overbrook Entertainment and Blinding Edge Pictures present a 100 minute, PG-13, action, adventure, sci-fi, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, written by Shyamalan and Gary Whitta with a theater release date of May 31. 2013.
Many years ago when Earth became uninhabitable mankind found a new home on Nova Prime. Cypher Raige (Will Smith) has been on a tour of duty for many years traveling the solar system and fighting aliens. As a high ranking officer he is considered a “Ghosting” a Ranger without fear, a man without fear is invisible to the alien creatures making it extremely possible to kill them; a task Cypher is very capable of achieving.
Three days earlier on Nova Prime Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) a young teenager is testing to become a Ranger like his father but he once again failed. Cypher returns home to his wife Faia (Sophie Okonedo) after completing his duty and right away the tension in their home between father and son is more than evident. Through several flashbacks in the story we discover that Cypher’s nineteen year daughter Senshi (Zoe Kravitz) was killed in their home while a very young Kitai hid in order to cover his fear but all along witnessing his sister’s slaughter. Leave it to a mother to step in and try to mend the tension in a home suggesting Cypher ask Kitai to go on a transport trip with him. When their ship experiences an asteroid storm both father and son, their crew and their precious cargo crash lands on a very dangerous volatile planet, Earth.
Both Cypher and Kitai survive but his father has broken both his legs and now it is up to Kitai to find the tail of their ship which is one hundred kilometers away. Inside that tail is their only chance for survival, a beacon to signal for help but as Kitai sets off on his journey his father warns him that everything on Earth has evolved to kill humans. With the help of some mobile devices that survived the crash Cypher is able to follow his son’s every move along the way. Danger is real in life but fear is a choice and Earth is full of many dangers. Savage baboons, spiders, lions, raptors and many other animals still inhabit this planet but like the precious cargo that is now lose on Earth they all have one target and it happens to be Kitai. During his journey to find the beacon Kitai has exhausted his resources and has lost contact with his father. Left on his own to save his life and his father’s Kitai has discovered that his time to come out of the box and become a man rather than a boy is now.
I entered into this film with high expectations due to the fact I’m a huge Will Smith fan and I hate to say it I was somewhat disappointed. I would still recommend it thankfully due to the breath-taking cinematography throughout the story along with the heart felt moments between a father and son and their quest for survival, in more ways than one. I felt Shyamalan was on the right path with the story but for me it seemed just a bit lackluster and a little sleepy at times. I wanted more of Will Smith but got less of him and more of his real son Jaden. Ok so they are working to make him a house-hold name and hands down he does a nice job but I still feel he’s a bit young to carry an action film as such. At times it even made it difficult to understand some of his lines possibly due to his age and inexperience. I think the first week it may shine at the box office but overall it will probably fade fast especially since there are many other options in the theaters right now. Will’s star can only shine so bright for so long in this story especially since he’s under-used from start to stop.
I must say on the animal side of things I was thrilled to see the film added a very sensitive and heart-felt moment between one of the creatures and Kitai, proving once again that animals have many of the same emotions that are portrayed by everyday humans. The film is mainly 100 minutes of Will and his son Jaden with a few supporting actors thrown in for aesthetics. Okonedo and Kravitz both do a nice job as family members but it is one or two of the flight crew that probably need a few pointers still in the acting department. Once again sad to say M. Night falls short leaving a few holes in the story and a slightly tiresome script. I mean the creatures on Earth were really no different than they are now yet if not for the alien creature the fight for survival may have ended up as a fight to stay intrigued in what is truly a good story that just loses its way from time to time making the end result come across a bit amateurish at times as well. Written and enjoyed for the heartwarming meaning behind the story with two paws out of four by Jon Patch.
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