After Earth (2013)

after earth poster 2013 movie jaden smith will
2.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 3/10

Not much

Dull, long, and boring with poor acting

Movie Info

Movie Name: After Earth

Studio: Overbrook Entertainment

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  May 1, 2013 (Premiere)/May 31, 2013 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

after earth kitai bird jaden smith

Gonna Fly Now!!!

Earth is inhospitable to humans who have moved on to the stars.  The Ranger Corps find themselves in battle with aliens called the S’krell who use creatures called Ursa that feast on human fear.  General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) has discovered that by showing no fear he can “ghost” the Ursa and defeat them.  When Cypher and his son Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) crash while transporting an Ursa, Cypher is crippled and it is now up to Kitai to signal help and save his father…but Earth isn’t what it used to be and survival will take all the courage that Kitai can muster.

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, After Earth is a sci-fi action-adventure.  The film is based on a story by Will Smith and was developed into a screenplay by M. Night Shyamalan and Gary Whitta.  Following Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender in 2010, the film was critically panned and received Razzies for Worst Actor (Jaden Smith), Worst Supporting Actor (Will Smith), and Worst Screen Combo (Jaden Smith and Will Smith) with nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay.

after earth will smith

Kitai…you can be the family’s next action star if you try harder!

M.  Night Shyamalan used to be something…and then he began to throw away a promising career through movies like The Happening and The Last Airbender. After Earth had no chance and with a story was put together as a star-maker for Jaden Smith by his father the nepotism hung thick over the project. Even if it hadn’t been Jaden and Will, After Earth wouldn’t have made it…it just isn’t that interesting.

The movie is dull.  You would think with a jungle, post-apocalyptic Earth where the animals rule and the introduction of a deadly alien that the movie would be pretty exciting, but instead you just get Jaden Smith running around, bad flashbacks of his sister’s death, and a garbled mess of baboons, eagles, and an alien that literally can be defeated without worry…as Will Smith keeps telling his son to do it better (which kind of feels like it was the theme off camera as well with the picture faring as poor as it did).

Jaden and Will’s characters are supposed to be relatively emotionally hollow to defeat the S’krell agents, but it just comes off as artificial and wooden.  Jaden over panics about everything and Will comes off as overly heavy-handed in a way that makes the Great Santini look friendly.  This combines with a weird sometimes accident that the character put on occasionally in some scenes.  It isn’t good.

after earth ending jaden smith ursa

There’s a giant badly animated creature behind me…isn’t there.

The special effects for the film aren’t all that impressive either.  It blew the opportunity to have creatures that have evolved without humans (granted it was only 1,000 years so not much evolution was possible), and it creates a weird Earth that looks more alien than anything else.  It looks and feels very digital and fake…plus, the Ursas are rather generic.

After Earth was a limp and weak action film that feels like it was trying to set-up sequels.  The movie rightfully bombed because it doesn’t even have the goofy fun of something like The Happening which you can watch and mock.  If you want to watch a film about a post-apocalyptic world at war, there are much better places to look.  M. Night Shyamalan returned to better form with his next entry The Visit in 2015.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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