After Earth

Picture Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Picture Courtesy of Columbia Pictures


The second film for the father son duo to appear, after The Pursuit of Happiness, Will Smith and Jaden Smith star in this sci-fi thriller.  Will Smith seems like an all around good guy, and I actually like him as an actor.  With having two famous parents who are actors, it was only natural for Jaden to follow in their footsteps.

A thousand years ago, the people of earth were forced to leave the planet and start new on a new planet known as Nova Prime.  Will Smith plays the character of General Cypher Raige.  General Raige has brought his people to victory through his ability to “ghost” against an alien predators known as Ursa.  “Ghosting” is the ability to suppress fear making yourself practically invisible to the Ursa.  The Ursa are blind creatures who smell the pheromones that are released when you are afraid.  In an attempt to connect with his son, Kitai, General Raige takes Kitai with him on his last mission before he retires.  When the ship is damaged during an asteroid shower, they are forced to land on a restricted planet.  That planet is Earth.

When Kitai wakes after the crash landing, he finds that all the passengers are dead, except for his father who is badly injured.   The rescue beckon from the ship is damaged, and the second beckon is in the tail end of the ship.  The tail end had broken off 100km away, and it is up to Kitai to travel across the hostile environment that earth has become, and use the beckon to signal for help.

Kitai must face his fears and test his abilities.  Through a camera and a communicator on Kitai’s body suite, Cypher is able to help guide Kitai and protect him.  When Kitai’s communicator is damaged, the connection is severed and he must continue his journey “alone”, unbeknownst to him, that an Ursa could be alive and hunting him.

The film is directed by M.Night Shyamalan and the idea for the film is based on an original story written by Will Smith.  There are some pretty cool weapons and technologies brought into the film, which help give it that sci-fi edge.  The film focuses on Kitai (Jaden Smith) as his father is injured and must remain in the ship.  I’m not sure if there is something going on with Jaden’s voice from puberty so they changed it to help mask it or what, but he seems to be the only character in the film with an accent.

Although it was an interesting film and I enjoyed it, this isn’t really one of those films that I could see myself watching more than once.  That does not make this it a write-off, but it does give you an idea of where to rank it for yourself.




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