After Earth tells the story of human beings who have colonized a new world called Nova Prime, a thousand years after an environmental cataclysm had forced them to abandon the Earth. The story revolves around General Cypher Raige (Will Smith), commander of Nova Prime's military force, the Ranger Corps, and his son, Kitai (played by Will Smith's real life son Jaden), who washed out of Ranger training and was seen as a bit of a disappointment to his father. Cypher's mother convinces Cypher to take Kitai with him on what is going to be his final Ranger mission before retirement when their craft is caught in a meteor shower and forced to crash land on the now uninhabitable planet Earth. Cypher is disabled in the crash and it is up to Kitai to save his father and himself and get them back home.
If all you're looking for is an entertaining film, After Earth certainly delivers. It's a bit two dimensional, but the story manages to flow just fine. Ten years ago, when one heard the name M. Night Shyamalan, visions of an artistically stunning and psychologically engaging film danced in one's head. Somewhere between The Village, which tried to hard, and Lady in the Water, which didn't try at all, that expectation began to be lost. With The Last Airbender, an adaptation of the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, the old M. Night Shyamalan seemed to have been permenantly replaced by the newer, lacking-in-substance version. Do not be misled, the lacking-in-substance is still in full force with the Shyamalan of old, who wrote and directed the phenomenal psychological thrillers The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, nowhere to be found. If you're looking for substance and art, this ain't it. If you're looking for two hours of pure, unadulterated science fiction entertainment, After Earth delivers. Just make sure you go in with both eyes open. This is a cheap ride and that's all it is. No Oscar nominations here, folks. Probably just a quick dump to Blu-ray and DVD, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Though, because it will be a quick release, you may want to just rent it. Either way, when all was said and done, I didn't feel like asking for my two hours or my thirty bucks back.
Will Conservatives Like This Movie?
I really hate this section of the review because I never really know what to say. There are some movies that wear their politics planted firmly on their sleeves, and those are easy, but most of the time I'm not sitting in the theater looking for political subliminals. I would say yes, there is nothing politically objectionable for a conservative mind. This is just a good, well, decent, father and son science fiction actioner.