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Movie Review After Earth 2013


After Earth 2013

A really good movie if you ignore who made and who is in it.

I’m kicking myself for being talked out of seeing this in theaters. I had no idea what it was about and was nervous because it was an M Night Shyamalan movie. What’s that got to do with anything? Well, Shyamalan is best known for The Sixth Sense (1999) which gave us a bend on the surprise ending no one saw coming. It’s a formula he repeated in movies like Signs (2002) and Lady in the Water (2006). Movies, where everything fits together, at the end, and you get to see all the little points along the way add up to a big finish. In my opinion Unbreakable (2000) is a classic and gives us the realest depiction of a super-hero without using a comic-based format, but includes every motif and cliché. See, movies like The Village (2004) and The Happening (2008) left many with questions about his continued ability to deliver at his highest potential. After all, Devil (2010) was another won’t-tell-you-the-plot-until-you-see-it and the curious pay off wasn’t as revealing as it could have been. Let’s just say we didn’t see the Saw [a reference to the 2004 horror flick] in this movie.

Will Smith presents another problem for potential movie-goers as his star power and box-office draw was super-high then. And so you expect another blockbuster- another big movie and wow, his son Jaden Smith co-stars, well, really stars. (The Karate Kid 2010 wasn’t as good as the original, but was way better than any of its sequels so….) I’m saying expectations may have been too high and perhaps another mysterious movie with a surprise ending may not be the best formula to run with.

After Earth Poster

Putting BOTH of them on the poster may not be the smartest thing

Proper Plots

Let’s cover what the movie is really about and get down for the set up. It’s far into the future and Earth has been lost to the self-inflicted wounds of environmental pollution. We flee to the stars and find ourselves in a war with aliens. Will Smith plays General Kitai Raige and during a space voyage, their transport is crippled and it’s up to not-yet-a-space-ranger Jaden (as Cypher Raige) to cross the dangerous landscape to reach help. Is Will Smith in the movie? Yes, and it’s not a goofy hologram or ghost, but the movie is the debut of a young action hero in the making. I can dig it. And I also see what the second problem is. You wanted Will Smith to be bounding over those rocks, facing peril and outlined against wondrous vistas. And maybe you wanted some kind of big message at the end or some sort of moral statement with all kinds of pretentious and righteous writer wit. No, you get the story of a father standing by and letting his son brave a new and hostile world. That’s true- for both the Raige and Smith families, for After Earth and Hollywood.

After-Earth-Movie poster

This accurately describes the movie

After the… Earth summary

Certainly it’s no spoiler to tell you -there is no big-surprise ending or twist and the movie flows and unfolds as expected. Yes, you can relax without worrying if M Night is going to ruin it in the last five minutes. If you have a family that might enjoy and sci-fi tale, this is a solid movie. If you expect…the expected movie from Will Smith + Shyamalan you will be, like many = disappointed. Me, I enjoyed it.

  1. October 10, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Reblogged this on Rapper's Delite.

  2. Officer Jim
    November 23, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Hi Andrew can I play Mikey Whites role now that he’s in Boca?

    • November 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Don’t forget the idea about the Griffin dealing with the rogue cop. Time to dust off the uniform.

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