Film Review: After Earth

The return of director M. Night Shyamalan after three years, After Earth follows Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father Cypher (Will Smith) who, after a crash landing, are left stranded on Earth a millennium after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash.

Films about ‘after Earth’ – revolving around the world as we know it ending, a new civilisation beginning, and technology developing far beyond the world we live in today – should be epic and full of imagination, but there are far too many films trying and failing at the minute. After Earth is entertaining enough, and I would recommend taking your children to see it, but it’s just a shame that it wasn’t anything more than just a family adventure, as the film severely lacked anything for an older audience to enjoy.

Jaden Smith stars alongside his real-life father Will Smith for the second time in their careers since the heart aching drama The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006. Whilst it wasn’t quite the father-son adventure I was hoping for, their chemistry undeniably helped to give the film a bit more of an impact. Will, unfortunately, was more of a prop than a character, and while Jaden has certainly grown up, there wasn’t much to enjoy about his performance either; his acting was average and he seemed to be struggling with pronouncing his words correctly throughout. That being said, his role was good enough for the decent family adventure that the film turned out to be, but so much more was needed from them both to be the epic futuristic sci-fi it promised.

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