After Earth: Film Review

For fans of Shyamalan and the Smiths.

Critics have called this movie everything from slow and boring to charmless.  To be fair, it is a slow paced movie but with bursts of adrenaline from time to time. Also, it is a Shyamalam movie. Which means you shouldn’t go looking for a Fast and Furious. You expect drama, philosophy and more, learnt through a life changing experience, a story that is told with grace. Epic journeys like the LOTR or The Mahabharata tell us many things but they convince you of those things through spell binding drama, action and above all genuinely portrayed human emotion. ‘After Earth’ is no classic, it is not even at par with some of great stuff its predecessors have achieved in the same genre. But it’s got a genuine feeling about it, conviction, although lacking.

Most books are adapted to suit celluloid. After Earth, however, seems like the kind of film that would have been better off as a book. A book that allows it to explore each character and allows depth that the screenplay did not. I would love to know the past and future of this story, it’s got the idea but it lacks the execution and depth.

Here are some of the reasons you may or may not want to catch this film:

Thumbs Up:

  • An intriguing storyline.
  • Some very cool details about a post apocalyptic soldier’s inventory. (Suit, weapons etc)
  • Some great visuals.
  • Will Smith’s mature and convincing acting prowess saves his otherwise boring character.
  • Shyamalan’s unique, almost other-worldly touch.

Thumbs Down:

  • Obvious lack of character justification and depth.
  • Obvious plot loopholes.
  • Jaden Smith’s amateurish portrayal of what could have been an impressive protagonist.
  • Inconsistent pace.

After Earth is a graceful and intelligent movie. But it’s definitely not a smart movie. All in all, it is worth a watch for fan’s of Shyamalan and the Smiths. But not so much for fans of the post-apocalyptic genre.

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