“Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” After Earth.

Despite the long and arduous advertising campaign for After Earth by Will Smith, I wasn’t too fussed about seeing this film. However, my Mum wanted to see it and seeing as I was down in Nottingham after my holiday I thought I’d accompany her. With a little help from IMDB, here’s the synopsis; A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.

After-EarthThat pretty much covers it – so humanity had to leave earth because we had destroyed it, the usual story. Here they used some real footage of riots, flooding and the like to emphasize the ‘disasters’, not to great effect I might add. The planet they do go to is already inhabited and the resident aliens breed these crazy beasts to kill humans, they are blind but can smell the pheromones we produce when scared. Cypher (Will Smith) is the big dog when it comes to a new phenomena called Ghosting, which means you feel no fear and are therefore blind to the beasts and can kill them. When transporting one of these creatures for training purposes, the ship crash lands and they happen to land on old Earth. Of all the planets in all the galaxies of the Universe, it had to be that one. 

Here’s the kicker – Kitai (Jaden Smith) has to travel 100km to receive a working distress beacon BUT the animals on Earth have evolved to kill Humans… do we know why, seeing as Humans left the planet?? No we don’t. This giant plot hole made the film totally pointless for me (please stop me if I am wrong). 

after-earth-jaden-smith-volcano

Will Smith’s character Cypher was a real let down for me. I love Smith, probably everybody does. But he had no character, no personality and not a lot to do other than sit around with his legs broken. Yes the man feels no fear, but he has a wife and son that he loves. Can you feel love if you don’t fear anything – what about fearing for your loved ones life. A bit of a blurred line there. None the less he does a decent job of being the Captain who isn’t sure how to emotionally connect to his son. 

Jaden on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. I’m not a fan of celebrities pushing their children into the spotlight at a young age (and it didn’t work for little Willow Smith, the one hit wonder at 12), but Jaden seems old enough to decide for himself and who wouldn’t gladly take a leg up from their incredibly famous father. Although his character Kitai was a little too frightened throughout for me to believe he could ever over come his fear, he was passionate and believable and so I connected with him a little in his struggle to prove something to his father and save them both from certain death. 

after-earth-630x420

The only other characters worth mentioning mainly feature in flash backs, Cypher’s wife, Sofie Okonedo and daughter, Zoe Kravitz. Only small supporting roles really which didn’t add much to the story for me. Just as a plot device for the boys to give them a reason to return home I suppose, and show that Cypher does have a caring side in there somewhere. FYI if you have children and you’re thinking ‘this is a 12A maybe I’ll take my son/daughter’ – I was quite shocked at the age rating considering the butchering of one character, the dead bodies hanging off trees and the massacring of a group of monkeys. 

after-earth-zoe-kravitz-will-smith-sophie-okonedo

The positives of After Earth come in the set design and over all feel of the future they live in. Their home, and space ship had a very oriental feel and nothing appeared to be made of metal! A lot of effort had obviously gone into the design of the ship, and Kitai’s survival suit which changed colour in response to his environment which is pretty cool (except at the end when it turns red again but really should have gone white seeing as it was snowing, but that’s a minor quibble). The animals on Earth are also worth watching After Earth for, although there should have been more action on the planet and less emotional talks between Cypher and Kitai or unnecessary flash backs, the evolved creatures that do appear are quite interesting. Plus there are some great POV shots during some sequences. 

You’re not missing anything spectacular if you miss After Earth at the cinema, but it’s probably worth a watch if you are bored and have a pre-paid cinema card at hand. Otherwise just wait until it is released on DVD or give it a miss entirely. Disappointing. 

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27 thoughts on ““Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” After Earth.

  1. mikeyb185 June 9, 2013 at 10:36 am Reply

    Haha I love your point about how the animals have evolved to kill nonexistent humans :)

  2. lauren June 9, 2013 at 11:10 am Reply

    Good review. Very funny about the evolved animals plot hole! I like the Smith family, they’re always very entertaining. But this film doesn’t really appeal to me and after reading your review maybe I’ll just wait til it comes on tv.

  3. lukebbtt June 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm Reply

    I have nothing against Will Smith using his fame to give Jaden a leg-up… as long as Jaden can follow through with some good acting. Great review.

    • myreelpov June 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm Reply

      Yeah he was pretty good so cant complain about Jaden, but it is a bit cheesy to have them both playing father and son in a film together… typical Americans haha.

  4. CMrok93 June 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm Reply

    Good review. It’s not a great movie, but I wasn’t miserable when watching it so I can’t say I disliked it all that much. Then again, it is a very dull movie.

    • myreelpov June 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm Reply

      Yeah I was getting a bit bored during the emotional bits, needed some more action!

  5. Tim The Film Guy June 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm Reply

    Haha yeah my M.Night Boycott continues!!!

    How does an animal evolve to kill something that’s not there?

    • myreelpov June 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm Reply

      Indeed! It would be like us evolving to protect ourselves against Dinosaurs…

      • Tim The Film Guy June 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        Creating a creature that hunts by fear is retarded! Give it eyes!

      • myreelpov June 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        True story.

  6. Hypersonic55 June 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm Reply

    Howdy Claire, nice review yo. I was also gutted about Will Smith too, he’s one of my favourite people in the universe. However in this film he was just there scowling for the majority of the film. Jaden was alright though like you his over abundance of fear really annoyed me plus he kept making a strange faces yo. The film was alright, but at least it wasn’t the worst film Shyamalan has done.

    • myreelpov June 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm Reply

      Thanks dude, yeah pretty gutted about Will – I hope he comes back with something kick ass soon! Im sure Jaden will be a hit in the future, plus you can tell he’s going to be puuurdy haha.

  7. Mark Walker June 11, 2013 at 11:15 am Reply

    Can’t say I fancy this one. I’m not a fan of Shymalan or the Smiths. Nice write-up, though.

    • myreelpov June 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm Reply

      Probably not a film you would enjoy then!

  8. The Vern June 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm Reply

    Does Will Smith perform a rap at the end of this. I have a feeling this may have done better if he had

    • myreelpov June 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply

      No he doesn’t but I think you are right! :P

  9. The Focused Filmographer June 15, 2013 at 5:35 am Reply

    yep. disappointing. Sadly too. I was hoping that this Will Smith movie would be a great blockbuster (esp after Oblivion) and then I realized this wasn’t a “Will Smith” movie…it’s a Jaden Smith movie…and thus, the flop. ha

    nice review!

  10. Tom July 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm Reply

    Can’t believe I’m going to skip a Will Smith movie but from everything I’ve heard, this is more about his son and not about him. Interesting tactic….

    • myreelpov July 8, 2013 at 11:36 am Reply

      Yeah Will definitely takes a back seat in this one!

    • Tom Harris January 27, 2014 at 7:29 am Reply

      Yes, it is mostly about his son, but we found it a very good film. Predictable, yes, but very good none-the-less. See it and you’ll be glad you did.

      • Tom January 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm

        saw this a little while back and I have to say, this was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. lol

      • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm

        Now now every film has at least one good review! :)

      • Tom January 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm

        Absolutely! I’m glad some found it enjoyable, i wish I could have.

  11. Tom Harris January 27, 2014 at 7:27 am Reply

    I and my wife really enjoyed the film. Projected it on a big screen in our house and found it predictable but great fun none-the-less.

    • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm Reply

      I imagine it is quite a fun movie for an afternoon of relaxing. I wasn’t too impressed at the time in the cinema though. I am glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for taking the time to comment :)

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