Category: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Age Restriction: 10-12PG V
Well known names: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, James Newton Howard (Music)
After Earth is the story of a teenage boy, Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith), and his legendary father, Cypher (Will Smith), who are stranded on Earth, 1 000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape after the space ship crash landed. Cypher is critically injured and to signal for help, Kitai must embark on a dangerous journey facing uncharted terrain, animal species that have evolved to rule the planet and kill humans as well as an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash.
The opening scenes of After Earth felt a bit forced and low-budget, with scenes of earth’s destruction and Kitai as a rebellious teenager seeking his father’s approval. However, as the plot progressed to the point of father and son having to survive on earth, the intensity picks up and the whole feel of the movie improves. I personally don’t think Jaden was his best in this specific role, it didn’t always flow naturally and with the charisma that his dad has on-screen, but it was convincing enough for you to look past those moments and enjoy the suspense-filled storyline that Will Smith himself thought of.
This film shares the powerful role that trust and love plays in families. This family definitely does not have it perfect, but by the end of the film we see the positive impact that this journey has had on father and son as they learned to work together and trust one another.
It’s a good, clean family film that has its gory moments for sensitive viewers when the animals attack people, but otherwise is filled with beautiful imagery on and off earth.
One key lesson that Cypher teaches his son that we can apply to everyday life and situations:
Danger is real, but fear is a choice.