By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0”: “After Earth” is a snoozer of a film. Lacks tension, suspense & drama. Will Smith’s charisma is absent and Jaden can’t carry it as a star.The Gist: A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.
The Highlights: The production is high quality and the cinematography is standard. That’s about it.
The Lowlights: Where do I start. “After Earth” is really Jaden Smith’s movie and that wasn’t necessarily a sound choice. But what about The Karate Kid remake? That was a hit, no? Yes, but the success was based on his pre-adolescent cuteness and a classic storyline. In this film, Jaden’s acting skills were tested due to the absence of real actors for 85% of the film, in replacement of only green screens. Result? Dud. Jaden can’t carry a movie right now. Meanwhile, Will Smith was miscast. Shrewd, stoic characters never have behooved him so then why build a film around it? And then the director… wait… who was the director? Oh yes, M. Night Shyamalan. He of The Happening and The Lady in the Water. Isn’t curious that his association as director of “After Earth” is almost null? It used to be that he was the headline – “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan…”. At this point, I don’t think anyone wants to be associated with it.
Hate, like or love it? Hate is too strong a word for it, but disappointing is more appropriate. This is as anticlimactic a film you’ll see all year. It never shows any excitement, thrills. It is so subdued, the execution is so lifeless and flat. What it really needs is a jolt of “skip it”.
Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some disturbing images
Release Date: 2013-05-31
Screenplay: Gary Whitta, M. Night Shyamalan
Director(s): M. Night Shyamalan
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Film Genre: Action, Sci-fi