After Earth


After crash-landing on the long-abandoned planet Earth, a young boy sets out to find a beacon that will save him — and his dying father — from doom.

Year: 2013
Certificate: 12
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Chris Geere, Kristofer Hivju, Zoe Kravitz, Sophie Okonedo, Sacha Dhawan, Lincoln Lewis, David Denman, Glenn Morshower, Diego Klattenhoff

Information Page:

I’ve been slowly working through “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” since it was added to Netflix UK at the start of the year and my son, Mini-MaFt (not his real name), recently watched the “Karate Kid” 2010 remake – so my house has been a bit of a Will/Jaden Smith-fest recently. When I saw that “After Earth” had been added to Netflix I thought it would make interesting viewing to see some of both Will Smith and Jaden Smith‘s more recent works. While the interaction on social media was mostly negative such as these gems:

Awful film. Didn’t it ‘win’ a few Razzies?

One of the worst movies i have ever seen. Pretty sure it destroyed jaden smiths acting career


It’s a bag of mouldy old rhinoceros balls. Will Smith has let himself his family and his fans down.

…it still made it onto our Popular Additions page – so it can’t be that bad, right?

Anyway, on with the review… “After Earth” is a sci-fi action film set thousands of years in the future where Earth has been abandoned by the human race after they made such a mess of it that all the animals evolved to kill them. On the human’s new planet are alien creatures called Ursas that can literally smell fear and have a habit of killing humans. Some soldiers are so fearless that the Ursas are blind to them – a technique referred to as ‘ghosting’.

After a brief history of the human race, the film shows us our main character: Kitai (Jaden Smith). Kitai is finishing off his cadet training and it is here that we learn that his father, Raige (Will Smith), is a decorated and highly revered soldier who is also skilled at ‘ghosting’. Kitai fails to get into the cadets and Raige isn’t happy with him. After telling his wife that he’s heading out to his last ever mission before retirement (yes, it was that clichéd) he decides to take Kitai under his wing to show him how a real soldier works. However, as preminisced by the ‘last mission before retirement’ statement, things go awry and their spaceship crash lands on a dangerous and quarantined planet.

So far, so predictable. Raige is injured in the crash and it is up to Kitai to locate a rescue beacon, save the day and, thus, prove his worth to his father. Like I said, pretty predictable storyline. The acting isn’t all that great either – which is a shame as both of the Smith’s can do much better than they do in “After Earth”. Another point worth noting is that the dialogue is also fairly lacking owing to the fact that Kitai is on his own for most of the film with only a radio link to his father. The reduced dialogue does mean that you don’t really feel like you’re part of the story.

Back to the movie and we have Kitai running around the planet fighting nature, in the form of vicious animals and landscapes. It looks and feels quite “Hunger Games” at times and the effects are actually pretty decent. The scenery shots are nicely done and gives the viewer an idea of the scale of Kitai’s challenge.

Overall “After Earth” is a fairly entertaining film with some good action sequences. If you can get past the predictability and less-than-adequate acting, then it’s actually not that bad. Granted, it could have been better but it could have been much worse – don’t forget I’ve watched “Krampus: The Christmas Devil“…

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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