After Earth

Out Now On-Demand

Danger is real. Fear is a choice.

Futuristic sci-fi adventure starring Will Smith and offspring Jaden, playing a father and son who crash land on Earth, a thousand years after humans evacuated - directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense). Stranded on the planet mankind fled after cataclysmic events, the pair embark on a journey to signal for help. They face uncharted terrain, dangerous evolved species that now rule the planet, and aa unstoppable alien that escaped during the crash.

Man, Scientology’s annual summer barbecue is going to be interesting this year. For once, Tom Cruise is going to be able to lord it over Will Smith as the clear winner of their “post-apocalyptic, man-not-quite alone” contest. While After Earth is no Battlefield-scale travesty, it’s all special effects and no substance means it makes Oblivion look like 2001 in comparison.

Yes, the millennia-long evolution of Earth sans humans throws up some nice creature creations and whizzy climate chaos effects, but fans of Smith snr. are going to be mighty disappointed with this Predator(s) meets The Grey by way of The Happening (yes, the now much-derided director Shyamalan is obsessed with tree terror again). For while junior builds on his Karate Kid success, one of the world’s most popular box office draws spends almost the ENTIRE MOVIE sitting on his arse and completely failing to break out his trademark smile or a slick one-liner. It’s the equivalent of the All Blacks playing 10-man rugby when the crowd wants to see the star wingers break loose.

This is a movie that seems to be telling us about how fear is only in our mind, well thanks to a po-faced plot and predictable action it’s also a film that appears to have had all the trademark Smith joy sucked out of it. It’s pretty to look at, but After Earth is an entertainment black hole.

Empire (UK)

press

Prepare to cringe and snicker whenever the characters are talking, but gasp when Shyamalan just shows amazing stuff.

Guardian

press

He's done it again. M Night Shyamalan has done it again. Again. Done it. Again.

Hollywood Reporter

press

The disappointingly generic film, which strands a father and son on Earth a thousand years after a planet-wide evacuation, will leave genre audiences pining for the more Terra-centric conceits of "Oblivion," not to mention countless other future-set films that find novelty in making familiar surroundings threatening.

Time Out New York

press

What undoes the film is its rather rancid parent-child sentimentality (a Shyamalan staple, admittedly) and a charisma-free performance from the younger Smith that suggests the apple has fallen very far from the tree.

Total Film

press

Jaden Smith takes centre stage in a futuristic rites of passager that plays like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone. Although "Oblivion" narrowly remains this summer’s better ruined-Earth actioner.

Variety

press

Shyamalan is clearly a director-for-hire here, his disinterest palpable from first frame to last.

Los Angeles Times

press

There is no small irony that this sci-fi action adventure is about surviving a serious crash. The scorched earth left behind by "After Earth" is sure to leave a scar on everyone involved.

Personality is a choice

This twist-less Shyamalan sci-fi is not bad. It's not good either, but it's not bad. In fact, I'll be damned if I could elicit any reaction to this film given how incredibly lacking it was in any sort of emotion.

The dystopia Earth - which could have used more dyspothathy (sp?) IMHO - is really just a backdrop for this father-and-son story which, for whatever reason, does not feature the actual father and son bonding onscreen for the majority of the film. Perhaps their alternate 'intercom' relationship could have worked if Will Smith's interpretation of the ideal father wasn't a stoic watermelon of impenetrable apathy. With the sternness of a bowling pin, I never felt a parental connection between him and his son.

Not that Jaden Smith's character helps the cause. Whenever he's told not to do something, he does it, and when sh*t goes wrong, he cries out for his daddy, screaming how he doesn't want to be here. To be fair, Jaden's quite convincing in that role, but maybe that's because he REALLY doesn't want to be on this production. If that's the case, inspiration came easily.

He also falls asleep in narcoleptic quantities.

But hey, the visuals aren't half bad and the conception of the universe holds some interesting idea, including smartfibre suits that changes colour (but aren't thermo insulated). There's also space chopsticks.


After Smith Movie

After Earth

After Earth

Will Smith wrote it, he & Jaden stared in it, and Will & his wife helped produce it, so its Smithy. Also M. Night Shyamalan had hands on, so its got a odd feeling to it as well. Pre-reports were that its slow, yes and the action happens too fast, more build up like a Hitchcock flick. Anyway, I found it was ok, good father & son show with splashes of technology and how humanity survived near extintion. I felt it was better than 'Oblivion', with hints of any human crashed on a planet; 'Lost in Space', 'Pitch Black', 'Alien', 'Planet of the Apes' and 'Outlander'.

Genre : Adventure, action, bonding

3/5 : just felt it was 'try hard' to be something else, in saying that, I enjoyed it (yet my friend fell asleep)