With Father's day right around the corner, it would seem only right that Will and Jaden star in M.Night Shyamalan's futuristic "After Earth". This film finds the pair light years into the future where we as humans have abandoned earth for safety in the stars. When watching this film you'll get your plate filled with plenty of CG and "Smith" goodness to last you for a while or at least until "Winter's Tale" comes out. "After Earth" is a decent Sci-Fi film, but it's not as epic as the film's budget would mislead. Let's dig a little deeper, as we Unhinge this review.
Okay so, Jaden is just about all grown up, no beard yet, but still he's a young man to start. He plays a character named Kitai, a teen eager to prove his control of self in the hopes that he will become a ranger like his father, Cypher(Will). Now, Will(Cypher) is a fearless, no-nonsense General of the Ranger Corps with more battle...
experience than quality time around the dinner table. So his character(Cypher) is a little distant from things that should matter most like throwing the ball to his son or helping his wife with the dishes. These two characters are the yin and yang of the film, so it's a little like "I am Legend" with a kid instead of a dog and still set in the future.
The story of "After Earth" is actually a futuristic father and son bonding experience, if you want the short and skinny. The long of it is "Fear is a choice" you can either succumb or become the danger. The movie begins with showing the dynamics of the Raige household and explaining the awesomeness of General Cypher, before unexpected events catapult Kitai and Cypher to an Earth they never knew. Here is where the film really kicks off and you've made it back to your seat with the popcorn. I know, I know you want more of the story, but I think some reading might still want to be surprised just a little when paying their 8 or 9 dollars.
I've got to give it to Shyamalan for stepping his game up and coming correct on a decent film after his last few slip-ups. No need to go into detail or call any films out, but those that watch a lot of movies should be able to identify his epic missteps. With "After Earth" he did a great job of collaborating with Will Smith and Gary Whitta to take us into the future without us wondering how the "freak" we got there. So, we can again look forward to more movies like "Sixth Sense" or maybe even a "Signs" from Mr. M. Night.
A few standout points for me, as a viewer, was the the idea of the earth evolving to a point where we are the enemy. Can you imagine your goldfish being bigger than you or a cute lil warbler being large enough to rip off the roof of your car? These things don't happen in the movie, but some of the film's symbolism gives you food for thought, nonetheless. Secondly, the special effects in the movie are what you would expect from any Hollywood film being shot in today's market, so everything is visually appealing in that regard. Finally, the manner in which "Fear" is explained is rather clever, in my opinion.
It would be a sin, if I didn't share these two classic Cypher quotes with you:
1. "Denied! Sit Down!" (Lol, this one had me rolling)
2. "Take a knee" (You see this a lot in sports when players need to center their energy)
So do we recommend this movie? If you enjoy a good Will Smith Sci-Fi or your a fan of the young, Jaden, go see it. If your on the fences about giving M.Night another chance, go see it. If you are going to the movies tonight and don't know what to watch..guess what..go see it...lol
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As Always.Thanks for reading!