Action Movie Fanatix Review: After Earth

Action Movie Fanatix review banner for After Earth

Danger Is Real
Fear Is A Choice

Starring: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoe Kravitz, David Denman

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

2013  |  100 Minutes  |  PG-13

One thousand years after a cataclysmic event causes all humans to escape the planet, General Cypher Raige and his 13-year-old son, Kitai, crash land on Earth.  Cypher is injured, leaving Kitai to race to the detached tail section of their spacecraft, which houses the necessary device to contact a rescue craft.

I’ve heard nothing but bad things about After Earth but I still have been meaning to see it ever since its release.  I just never got around to it.  I mean, I like sci fi, I like Will Smith, I like most M. Night Shyamalan movies to some extent…  It should be right up my alley, right?

After Earth opens with what feels like a long monologue by Jaden Smith’s character Kitai.  The whole thing is delivered with the most wooden tone possible.  Let’s be clear, Jaden Smith is NOT a good actor.  Maybe he can become one someday but he’s a long way off right now.  Luckily the filmmakers don’t really try to get much acting out of him.  He mostly just runs.

Will Smith’s role is that of a very cold, militaristic, bad ass who’s physically and emotionally wounded.  That’s to say, Cypher basically just sits there and tells his son what to do.  Not exactly the ideal Will Smith role but I suppose it’s fine enough.


The story isn’t remotely original and it’s filled with stupid-science but, again, it’s passable… I mean, there’s barely a story here.  There’s no Shyamalan twist, which is also fine.

The CGI is really the standout star of the movie.  There are a few spots where it is less than perfect but considering how much of the movie was vitally dependent on CGI creatures and scenery, it looks really good.

Honestly, After Earth is a lot better than I expected.  I had a pretty decent time watching it.  It’s not a great movie but it’s not nearly as bad as the reviews had led me to believe.


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