I feel sorry for M. Night Shyamalan. I really do. This is the man that was once named the next Stephen Spielberg by Newsweek when he started out. Then something happened and it just went all downhill from there. Now, in order to make sure that people come out to watch After Earth, Mr. Shyamalan’s latest film, they don’t even show his name in the trailers.
It didn’t really matter because After Earth is an incredibly boring film.
Before reading on, take note that I there will be some minor SPOILERS regarding the film (and maybe some other movies for humor sake).
After Earth takes place in the future where mankind has abandoned Earth due to the planet becoming inhospitable for people to live. Humans then colonized another planet and named it Nova Prime. However, now they are in danger of alien invaders who are technically blind but can smell a person’s fear. General Cypher Raige can control his fear, making him invisible to the aliens. His son, Kitai Raige, wants to follow in his father’s footsteps but always breaks down in high pressure situations.
While transferring a captured alien to a training planet, their ship gets caught in an asteroid shower and they crash land on a planet. Guess what planet they crashed on?
With his father incapacitated due to having both his legs broken in the crash, it’s up to Kitai to retrieve a signal beacon that is far away from where they landed in order to call for help.
I really found the movie to be incredibly boring! It’s hard to actually express how bored I was while watching the movie. Nothing really clicked with me. Will Smith plays Cypher Raige and his real life son Jaden Smith plays Kitai Raige. Since Cypher has two broken legs, he can’t get out of the ship so it’s more or less Jaden’s film. And I’m sorry, I never reached a point where I liked Kitai, which is very bad, especially if he’s practically the focus of the entire film. And we know the kid can act!
The story itself is extremely predictable, which is odd for an M. Night Shyamalan film. Nothing about the story really is compelling and there are a couple of leaps of logic (not really plot holes) I had to follow which really threw me for a loop. Those leaps of logic are there for convenience so I understand why they’re there but really feel artificial and just patched into the story.
Another thing I would have to say about the movie is how they wasted the premise of the film. So they crash landed on Earth, right? Well, it didn’t have to be Earth. It could’ve been any other planet that had large predators that can kill humans. I mean, if you’re going to have them stranded on Earth after something bad happened to the planet, make it so that we know that it’s Earth!
We don’t get to see any cities in ruin. No rundown farms or rusted vehicles of any kind. Even though Kitai has to traverse a huge amount of land, we never got to see any signs that modern humans once lived on the planet (unless you count the cave paintings in that one scene, which felt they were added for some unknown reason).
I also disagreed with the moral of the movie. The message of the film is that fear is a choice and you can choose not to be afraid. I don’t think that’s right. It’s okay to be scared but fear shouldn’t control your life. Overcoming fear doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It just means you fight against your fear instinct to do the right thing.
There is no way I can recommend watching After Earth. I’m sorry Mr. Shyamalan. I was honestly hoping that this was going to be a good film but you just blew it.
Are there any other films, television shows or, well, anything you would want reviewed? Feel free to post any comments or suggestions on what else I can review below.