Wednesday Movie Night: After Earth (2013)

Guess what? I’m not going to hate After Earth. The action/adventure was enjoyable to watch, the scenery is pretty, and it is well shot. The actors also do a good job despite a story line that is a little weak. The plot is the weakest part of the whole movie because it’s trying too much. You also have odd accents that the actors try their best with, but if you’re seeing either of these actors for the first time you just think they are bad actors.

Summary: Kitai is distant from his father after an incident in their families’ past has put them apart. To try to bond with his son and make his more prepared to be a range he takes him on a mission with him, but when their ship crashes on abandoned earth, it is up to Kitai to get him and his father, Cypher, help. Kitai though still struggles with feeling weak from his past, but with the help of his dad he is empowered to take on the task of signaling them for help. He will have to battle what now lives on earth and also be on the watch for a monster that has possibly escaped earth.

Acting: Will Smith has the biggest flop of his career with After Earth, so I’m sure he would just prefer you forget he’s in it. Honestly, his performance is still good despite the weakly developed character he is portraying. I think the thing that most salvages his acting though, and gives him some passion is the fact his son, Jaden Smith is playing Kitai. For Jaden Smith, the story is sadder. While he’s a good actor, he’s still growing, and has a really major flop early on. If his acting is any indicator he should recover easily though. He seems a little too aggressive in the part for a kid who is supposed to be meek and a little hesitant for action, but overall his performance is good.

Filming: M. Night Shyamalan may have to go undercover for his next movie after how this movie did with critics and at the box office. I’m not sure if people are just hating on his movies now because it’s the popular thing to or because people really find that many flaws with his movie. I don’t think this movie was any worse than any other movie I’ve saw this year in the same field, like Oblivion. Oblivion didn’t get near as much slack despite the bland shots and the same story line regarding earth. Shymalan may be lacking in some heart in his movies though. They aren’t of any particular niche anymore, and the dialogue is a bit weak. You’ve got great color though and a lively setting. People just seem to not be enthralled by his work anymore after a string of misses.

Plot: The plot is straight forward and simple, and unlike Shyamalan, predictable. There is nothing earth shattering about the development that takes place for Kitai. He has had some bad traumas, but his struggles probably seem to something that most boys his age can attest to as they struggle to grow up and be brave. I just didn’t feel the connection to what happened in his past and the future as strongly as I thought I should have.

After Earth has adventure and action to entertain. Shyamalan still tries to sneak in some elements I think the audience is over like trying to shoot for a deeper statement that isn’t there, particularly on the environment. Did he intend for this to be a follow up to The Happening? It isn’t the worst in his career, and if anything maybe he can keep climbing from this one. The cast is well cast and they commit to making their roles feel real.

Rating 6 of 10.

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