Title: After Earth Director: M. Knight Shyamalan Year: 2013 Run time: 1 hr 40 mins
I was intrigued by the premise of this one, and I must admit a little put off by the casting. A family affair with Will Smith and his wife producing the film, and Smith acting alongside his now teenage son Jaden. It happens, of course, family acting together, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but this has a very nepotistic feel to it. Nevertheless, the dystopian thing always attracts me, so I was keen to find out if it lived up to the premise.
2:45 - I don’t know how you can be completely free of fear. Controlling it, sure. But none at all? 4:09 - It’s kind of weird looking at mini Will Smith. They’re like the same person. 8:20 - She doesn’t quite work as his wife. Bit awkward though. Genuine father and son, and then a random wife. 10:43 - This other planet looks suspiciously like the Grand Canyon. 20:48 - The kid is definitely showing signs of fear. 27:23 - It’s just like LOST! The other half of the ship/plane is miles away. 38:08 - “My suit is turning black. I like it but I think it’s something bad.” 43:02 - How do they make his face all puffy like that? Very good. 49:43 - Will Smith is channeling Samuel L Jackson a lot this film. 51:49 - “The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future.” 59:41 - The kid seems to escape all his plights by heading to water. Who knew animals were so scared of water? 1:10:20 - Ooh, it’s doing the creeping frost thing like in 2012. 1:12:47 - I like the whole bird sentiment thing but can’t help thinking nature would get less capable of rational thought without the presence of humans, rather than more. 1:20:13 - I’m confused as to whether the boy can hear his dad or not. But then again, they’re practically the same person anyway, so it doesn’t matter. 1:25:20 - He has to climb to the top of the mountain and wave his device about to get signal. The future is going to be a lot like today, I reckon.
What a disappointment! The idea is good, but the end result was slow and plodding, the plot and dialogue predictable, and the acting pretty shocking. I don’t want to see Will Smith just sat in a seat for two hours, and I certainly don’t think Jaden was up to holding the whole film together. He had one facial expression that was overused within the first five minutes, let alone the rest of the movie. This was a disappointment because it could have been a good film, but it feels like all the ingredients were just slightly off to make a bad one instead.