Film Review- 'After Earth'

Arriving in theatres tonight, Will and Jaden Smith, as General and cadet Cypher and Kitai Raige respectively, promise to take you on a journey in After Earth.  Kitai wants nothing more than to be like his father, the general.  More than that, Kitai longs for his father's approval. And this is the mission in which he will try to earn it. The story takes place over a thousand years in the future on two planets and the space in between. After a crash land on Earth, the film’s nonstop action flows from there.

The elder Smith draws maximum emotion from the audience in a brilliant performance as a take no prisoners father who is clearly not in touch with his sensitive side. Please be warned, the energy is so spellbinding between the father/son duo, you may feel like an intruder, listening in on a private moment of bonding.   At times, emotions of fear, honor and desperation may nearly draw you out of your seat.

The film leaves a few questions unanswered.  First I doubted the authenticity of Cypher’s abilities.  I wondered if he was the only one that could do what he did and how it came to be that he could do it. I also wondered why Faia Raige’s storyline wasn’t given a tad bit more screen time.

Bottom line: After Earth is enjoyable.  It’s an emotional roller coaster in which I was all too happy to be strapped in and seated up front for. Intelligent and gripping, I could hardly look away from the screen. Every time I blinked during one of the fast paced, action packed scenes, I regretted it.  And that’s always a good sign…regretting to blink during a movie, good, very good.

Fans of 2012, John Q, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon or similar movies that have delighted us on screen in the last decade will enjoy this latest work of M. Night Shyamalan.  

photo credit: Sony Pictures

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